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Four tipped for pre-selection

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September 16, 2017

The Nationals’ party members vying for pre-selection will learn their fate this weekend, with the vote to take place in Griffith on Sunday.

As of yesterday there were three confirmed candidates seeking The Nationals’ pre-selection this weekend — Deniliquin party branch president David Landini, Deniliquin party branch vice chair Perin Davey and former Murrumbidgee Shire mayor and Murrumbidgee Council councillor Austin Evans.

There is also speculation there will be a Griffith-based contender.

The party has opted to hold pre-selection in the electorate’s far north-east corner.

NSW Nationals state director Nathan Quigley said Griffith was chosen due to its centrality, and its ability to accommodate travelling party members.

‘‘Griffith was suggested due to its proximity to media in Griffith itself, and secondly because we have party members coming from the south in Moama and the north in Hillston,’’ he said.

‘‘Although it may not be central in terms of the whole electorate, it is central in terms of north and south.’’

The Nationals’ pre-selection comes after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the by-election would be held on October 14, the same day as Cootamundra’s by-election to replace Katrina Hodgkinson.

‘‘The by-election is in about four weeks’ time, so pre-selection is being held as late as we possibly can,’’ Mr Quigley said.

‘‘We have a strong field of candidates and we’re keen to see the right person return to the seat.’’

Coming up against the successful The Nationals candidate is Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party member Helen Dalton.

The NSW Liberals will not stand a candidate in the Murray by-election due to a non-competition rule, according to retiring local member Adrian Piccoli.

Mr Piccoli, who spends his last day in government today, said a Coalition agreement prohibits the Liberals from challenging the The Nationals’ seat.

‘‘It’s a rule and means there will definitely be no Liberals candidate,’’ Mr Piccoli said.

‘‘As a Coalition, we want to concentrate all our resources on defeating Labor.

‘‘Our objective is to keep Labor out of government, and so it would be counterproductive to challenge each other.’’

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