Member for Calare Andrew Gee has brushed aside a claim from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers that he has been a lazy local member.
Mr Gee also defended his absence from candidates forums in the Calare electorate.
Speaking in Canowindra on Thursday Mr Gee, standing alongside deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Michael McCormack, described the claim he had been a "lazy candidate" as a "cheap and easy insult".
As for his decision not to attend a planned candidates forum in Orange tonight after missing a foum in Bathurst last night, Mr Gee said his decision not to attend came down to a lack of notice.
He said the organiser, Bathurst man Stuart Driver, had been unfair to the candidates by not giving them enough notice.
"Unfortunately there wasn't a huge amount of notice for the privately organised forums," Mr Gee said.
"We only got an email last Tuesday about the privately organised ones, we got the email in the afternoon and by the morning the dates were set.
"I think if you want to organise (a forum) as a private individual you really do need to give the candidates a good deal of notice so that they can actually organise their diaries and get there."
Mr Gee explained he had attended the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association's candidate forum in Bathurst last Thursday after the organisers had given several weeks' notice.
"I'm not able to get to that one, because of a previous commitment but obviously I would like to get there," he said of the Orange forum.
"You have to be fair to all of the candidates and give them proper notice."
If you want to organise (a forum) as a private individual you really do need to give the candidates a good deal of notice.Calare MP Andrew Gee
Asked for a response to voters suggesting he had been difficult to contact, not just recently but over the past three years, Mr Gee said he believed he has been "out there working hard".
"I've been at just about every community event I could be at, I've done my best to get around the electorate, I don't think anyone could criticise me for that," he said.
"I've been at just about every country show, every community event, I've been there when the community has needed me.
"That's a very cheap and easy insult to make that is not in accordance with the facts. I can't work any harder."
Mr Gee described the campaign of Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Sam Romano as "empty".
"They're not offering anything for the electorate," Mr Gee said.
"They're not offering any policies and it's just nastiness basically. I think it is very sad, all they are offering is nastiness and insults to the election.
"They should be doing better than that if they want to be elected representatives.
"The local candidate was thinking of running six months ago but it is only in the last few days that you're actually getting any talk on policy.
"You can't run a campaign on insults and nastiness, there's got to be some substance as well," Mr Gee said.
Mr Romano had issued a media statement on Wednesday calling Mr Gee a a "lazy, disinterested" MP whose government "doesn't give a damn" about suicide rates in the Calare electorate.
"Recently, Central West Lifeline CEO Stephanie Robinson pointed out the biggest suicide rate increases in Australia have been in urban-regional areas like Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo," Mr Romano said.
"Young people are most at risk, yet there are hardly any services.
"The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Inpatient unit has just 20 beds to cater to thousands of children.
"Almost every family I know has been touched by the suicide of a relative or close friend. The biggest tragedy is this government doesn't give a damn."
Mr Romano lay the blame squarely at the feet of Mr Gee.
"We need someone who can fight for these services in the bush, who will bang on the Prime Minister's door and demand funding," Mr Romano said.
"But Andrew Gee doesn't care. He is just killing time until he collects a big pension payment. He is lazy, plain and simple."
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