Lithgow Council meets with Shooters and Fishers’ Party

AT THE TABLE: Lithgow City Council Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Orange MP Philip Donato and council general manager Graeme Faulkner. Picture: SUPPLIED.

AT THE TABLE: Lithgow City Council Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Orange MP Philip Donato and council general manager Graeme Faulkner. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Lithgow’s mayor and general manager will meet with members of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmer’s Party in Parliament on Wednesday, after meeting with Orange MP Philip Donato last week to discuss the future of Springvale Mine. 

“It’s an attempt just to broaden the number of people we can call on to support the town,” Mayor Stephen Lesslie said.

“At the time the meeting was organised, the plan was merely to have a plan [on Springvale] and it did eventuate –  they responded to pressure, it wasn’t anything else.”

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole announced the government’s intention to introduce legislation to State Parliament securing Springvale Mine’s future on October 9. 

Now the government has successfully passed the legislation, Cr Lesslie and general manager Graeme Faulkner still have plans to meet with Mr Donato and Shooters and Fishers Legislative Council members Robert Borsak and Robert Brown. 

“There are many other regional issues we are concerned about like water in our area, road and rail transport to Lithgow, the Bells Line of Road, issues of governance and financial issues,” Mr Lesslie said.

“We are still under the constant, meaningless threat of sending monthly reports because we’re not considered ‘Fit for the Future’.”

MAYOR: Stephen Lesslie. FILE IMAGE.

MAYOR: Stephen Lesslie. FILE IMAGE.

Mr Donato said Lithgow Council contacted himself and opposition leader Luke Foley out of “frustration”. 

“I suppose out of frustration they approached the neighboring electorate. I care about electricity supply and jobs in regional communities and the industry in my electorate requires sufficient energy, so I was too happy to meet with them and assist them.

“I think Lithgow Council just want to foster a form of relationship with our party because of some common attributes that we share and they are not getting representation from either the local or federal member at the moment.”

When asked why he was not just talking to Lithgow’s own state member, Mr Lesslie said he had written to MP Paul Toole to invite him to a council information session “at the time of his choosing”.

“We’d certainly be happy to be talking to him,” Mayor Lesslie said. 

Mr Donato broke the Nationals and Country Party’s 68-year stronghold over the seat of Orange last year.

He said Bathurst was not out of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s sights. 

“I'd never say never.”

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