“Go in on Saturday with baseball bats and as the signs say on the post, put the Nats last.”
“I don’t care what you do, put the Nats last.”
That was the advice from 2GB radio broadcaster Alan Jones to voters ahead of the Orange byelection on Saturday November 12.
Mr Jones started his live broadcast at 5.30am at the Orange Ex-Services’ Club with fellow broadcaster Ray Hadley taking over the airwaves at 9am.
The microscope has been on the Orange byelection since former Member for Orange Andrew Gee moved to federal politics.
Mr Jones said the issue was voters were not being listened to by the state government, not just with the greyhound racing ban but forced council mergers.
“I want people here to be angry, if it‘s a little trifling swing, they’ll say, ‘see Jones and all those people they don’t understand, the electorate are quite happy with us’ and away we go,” Mr Jones said.
“You don’t get many chances like this.”
When the visit by Mr Hadley and Mr Jones was planned, the greyhound racing ban was a key issue for voters, a ban which he described as “ill-conceived” and done without consultation.
Mr Hadley urged faith in Premier Mike Baird to introduce repeal legislation, “I can’t believe he’s going to go back on his word”. He said voters should send a message to the state government.
“The Nationals have ignored Orange for too long, they’ve got an overwhelming two-party preferred vote of 71-29. Any narrowing of that gap would illustrate to them, that the constituents are unhappy with them.”
“Given what Mr Trump has just done, anyone tipping political results at the moment needs a crystal ball.
“But I think that the Nationals just might get home, but it won’t be by a wide margin, 52-28 or 53-47 and that’s massive when you’re coming from a position of 71-29.
“There’s lessons there, apart from what happened in the United States of America. We live in a different world.”
Hadley, Jones swap city studio for bistro
Sydney radio stars Alan Jones and Ray Hadley provided plenty of food for thought for their listeners on Thursday as they broadcast live from the Orange Ex-Services’ Club’s bistro.
They received a hero’s welcome from the listeners who turned out to see and hear them ply their trade.
“I love listening to Alan and Ray, I love that they’re supporting the Orange community,” Ophir resident and listener Learne Spicer said.
“They’ve got their fingers on the pulse. It all comes down to listening to the community, if the government is going to ban greyhound racing, you might as well ban show jumping, rodeo, horse racing … where do you stop?”
Orange’s Julie and Edward Hoogenboom were among the audience on Thursday, they’re regularly tuned in during the morning to both Mr Jones and Mr Hadley and follow the continuous call team during football season.
“On this side of the mountains we’re often forgotten, to have these two fellas come this side of the mountain to support local people with local issues is incredible,” Mr Hoogenboom said.
“The greyhound racing ban would have affected so many people’s lives here, to think (Premier Mike) Baird could just alter people’s live and put them through hardships was just frightening.”
Cabonne’s Amalgamation No Thank You (ANTY) group spokeswoman Marj Bollinger left the house at 5am to get to the club by 7.10am.
“It’s not just mergers, it’s the process, they’re (government) not listening to the people and destroying our democracy,” she said.
“I think it’s wonderful for the whole state that these guys have got so far behind these issues.”
Residents had a further opportunity to speak with Mr Jones at a public forum on Thursday night.