'Just an opportunity to promote themselves': Donato calls Nationals' stunt

Orange MP Phil Donato
Orange MP Phil Donato

THE member for Orange has hosed down allegations his party “will never be able to deliver” for the electorate, following a vote in parliament on Thursday.

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries put forward a motion in the Legislative Assembly, supporting the state government's agreement with the federal government to build inland rail, welcoming the associated jobs and benefits to farmers in cutting the cost of moving products from paddock to port. 

But it also had a section acknowledging “that the Liberals and The Nationals are the only parties able to deliver for regional New South Wales”.

Mr Donato voted in favour of the motion.

Deputy premier John Barilaro issued a statement thanking the Orange MP.

”Mr Donato’s vote surprised me, but it seems he may have seen the light,” he said.

“I congratulate Mr Donato on finally having the courage to be honest with the people of his electorate by acknowledging that the Shooters party will never be able to deliver for the people of Orange.”

However, Mr Donato said the majority of the motion was on inland rail, a project planned to run through his electorate. 

“If I didn’t support it, they’d say Donato doesn’t support inland rail and I do support inland rail,” he said.

“My role on the crossbench is to work with whoever’s in government to get the best outcome for my electorate, whether that’s the Liberals, Nationals or Labor – if they do good things, I’ll support them.”

Mr Donato said the motion had no impact on legislation.

“It’s just an opportunity for the government to promote themselves,” he said.

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