Cabonne's anti-merger campaigners demand action following byelection vote

Canowindra voters overwhelming supported Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate in last weekend’s byelection for the state seat of Orange and now campaigners want them to deliver by Friday.

“They’ve said they’re listening, it’s now a chance to prove this with actions rather than words,” Cabonne Amalgamation No Thank You (ANTY) spokeswoman Marj Bollinger said.

Preferences are still being counted after the by-election and no clear result is expected until Thursday or Friday. T

In Canowindra voters who lodged votes at the high school showed a preference for SFF candidate Phillip Donato who received 337 votes to the National’s candidate Scott Barrett who received 306 votes.

At Cargo the margin was even clearer with Donato receiving 113 votes to Barrett’s 55.

Country Labor candidate Bernard Fitzsimon received 240 votes at the Canowindra booth and 46 at the Cargo booth.

Overall Donato currently holds a slender lead over Barrett.

The vote pushed NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier Troy Grant to resign from the party leadership on Monday.

“At least he heard our voice, we’ve been trying to talk to him, he wouldn’t return emails, letters, phone calls or invites to our events,” Mrs Bollinger said.

“I wish he had heard it earlier so that it wasn’t so painful for him.”

Mrs Bollinger said the by-election and Mr Grant’s resignation provided a new opportunity for Nationals’ Member for Bathurst and local government minister Paul Toole to change the plans for Cabonne Council.

“Mr Toole is now in the position to do as we asked, and withdraw the amalgamation process for Orange, Blayney and Cabonne by the end of the week,” Mrs Bollinger said.

“We’re happy to work with whoever becomes the member to support them if they support us, it is a democracy, we have to work together.”

Sydney’s Save Our Council’s Coalition (SOCC) president Carolyn Corrigan said the phone had been ringing hot since the weekend.

A member of Mosman Council, she brought 20 campaigners to the byelection.

“Whatever the final result, the cataclysmic, seismic swing has sent shock-waves through both the Liberal and National Party Coalition in Macquarie Street,” Councillor Corrigan said.

“SOCC knew Orange was a critical by-election, it was the first opportunity for NSW’s regional residents.

“We know the mood, there’s a palable anger over forcing people to something without asking.”