There might only be one candidate announced so far to contest the Orange byelection on November 12, but the betting market has declared the poll a fait accompli.
The Nationals endorsed Scott Barrett on Sunday and now bookies will pay $1.03 if he wins.
Sportsbet.com issued the odds and have put any independent candidate at a rough $10 chance, with a candidate for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party further out at $15.
The Labor Party, Greens and Christian Democrats are way off the pace at $34 each.
On Tuesday afternoon, NSW Parliament’s Speaker Shelly Hancock announced the byelection for Orange and Canterbury in Sydney will be on Saturday, November 12. Despite the market picking him as the election’s winner, Mr Barrett said things were far from assured.
“There’s a long way to go, I’ll spend the next few months talking to people and starting to work on their issues,” Mr Barrett said.
This week Mr Barrett has started campaigning with health, education and roads being among the top issues.
“We’re talking about new hospitals in Forbes, Parkes and Orange, and a new MPS in Molong. We’ve delivered and we’ll continue to deliver,” he said.
Mr Barrett was cautious about the greyhound ban and said improvements needs to be driven by industry.
“I haven’t read the report … we need to be careful about making judgements and statements without having all the information,” he said.
“However, people are telling me they don’t like it, not because of an affinity with greyhounds, but because the government shut-down an industry.
“Change and improvements to an industry should be lead by the industry, it can’t be the thin edge of the wedge for extremists dictating how we are to do business.”
A byelection scheduled for November will mean there has been no full-time parliamentarian since June. Deputy Premier Troy Grant has said he is “extraordinarily frustrated” at the delay. Mr Barrett said the date was out of his control but said he was ready to start work if he was elected.
Member for Calare and former Member for Orange Andrew Gee said he believed the delay in holding the byelection was “too long”.
Mr Gee said he was surprised by the talk of a November election and it was unusual to have such a long lead time between byelections. The Byng Street state electorate office remains operational in the lead-up to the byelection.