• 36% swing against Nationals
  • Union campaign highlights local job losses
  • Re-count delivers victory to Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party candidate

A robust union campaign focused on job losses and declining job security has helped drive a 36 per cent primary vote swing against the Nationals in the by-election for the State seat of Orange.

Following several re-counts earlier this week, the seat was lost to the Government. The Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party candidate and local police prosecutor, Philip Donato, was elected by 50 votes.

Unions were active throughout the Orange by-election, reminding voters of the Nationals support for Mike Baird's plan to privatise regional hospitals, merge councils, the now-abandoned closure of the greyhound industry and the failure to stem local job losses including 500 from Electrolux, 300 from Newcrest Cadia East Mine and the exit of  Myer from the town.

"Orange voters are sick of being ignored and treated like their jobs and livelihoods are an afterthought to Mike Baird," said Mark Morey, Unions NSW Secretary.

Local activist Kylie McKelvie concurred. "Local people latched onto the issue of jobs. We can't stay in our community without local jobs and our kids have no future here if all the employers close down and move away.

"The on-the-ground union activity has been amazing. I've seen the volunteers in their orange "It's About Jobs" shirts on street stalls, letterboxing and doorknocking," Ms McKelvie said.

"Regional NSW has sent the Nationals an Mike Baird’s coalition government a strong message. It's time he stopped ignoring us and prioritised quality, secure jobs," Ms McKelvie said. 

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