Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party slam merger 'hypocrisy', accuse minister of filibustering

UNDER SIEGE: Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton (left) has been heavily targeted by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
UNDER SIEGE: Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton (left) has been heavily targeted by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has launched an explosive tirade against the NSW state government as speculation around the Cootamundra by-election intensifies.

It comes after video footage emerged of Minister for Local Government and pro-merger advocate Gabrielle Upton opposing the amalgamation of Woollahra Council in 2015.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party released the video earlier this week and claims it demonstrates the government’s hypocrisy and double standards.

Party MLC Robert Borsak went further, accusing Ms Upton of filibustering during last week’s parliamentary sitting in order to prevent his party’s Local Government Amendment (Amalgamation Referendums) Bill being submitted. 

“If they wanted, the Nationals could end this forced council amalgamation issue by supporting our bill, the Local Government Amendment (Amalgamations Referendums) Bill,” Mr Borsak said.

“Instead, the Nationals are just doing what they always do – whatever the Liberal Party tells them to do.”

Ms Upton spoke for almost 49 minutes, pausing only while a vote was taken on whether she should be barred from speaking any longer.

Mr Borsak’s bold declaration and open support for de-merging amalgamated councils will form the crux of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party’s campaign to win the Cootamundra seat, however, the party is yet to formally announce a running candidate.