WITH anti-Nationals sentiment at a high among voters during last month's state election, Calare MP Andrew Gee admits the run-up to the federal election on Saturday, May 18 is going to be tough.
Calare's 118,129 registered voters will have the choice between incumbent MP Andrew Gee, Labor's Dr Jess Jennings and an as yet unnamed Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate.
The SFF will stand a candidate in Calare for the first time following two Orange state election wins by Phil Donato.
The party said all would be revealed in Orange on Monday when the candidate "will outline the key priorities of his campaign."
Australian might have had three prime minister in just six years due to Coalition in-fighting, but Mr Gee said people in Calare were more interested in what happened in their own electorate.
It's going to be a very tough campaign and there's some very tough opponents out there.Andrew Gee, member for Calare
"It's going to be a very tough campaign and there's some very tough opponents out there," he said.
"I think people want to see runs on the board and I think that is what we have delivered locally over the last three years. I'll be running on my record of delivering services and infrastructure right across the Central West."
Mr Gee said those 'runs on the board' included funds for the Glen Willow Regional Sports Complex in Mudgee, a new headspace clinic in Lithgow, aged care upgrade in Wellington, a second race track at Mount Panorama and the Blayney CentrePoint sports facility.
I have to be optimistic.Dr Jess Jennings, Labor candidate
He said he wanted to see continued funding for aged care, road networks and health plus infrastructure projects including Orange's CBD and conservatorium development, bridges in the Blayney shire and tourism projects including the Oberon tourist railway.
An optimistic Jess Jennings rates himself a "50-50" chance of becoming Labor's first Member for Calare in more than 20 years.
Dr Jennings is contesting his third election as the Labor candidate.
The Bathurst councillor is banking on a combination of a high profile in the east of the electorate and a strong anti-Nationals sentiment in the west of the electorate. "I have to be optimistic," he said.
"What Labor is offering the people of Calare is bigger, better and fairer tax cuts. Anyone under $126,000 will be substantially better off under Labor, and particularly the lower paid workers.
"The federal government, after three prime ministers, has lost the faith of the electorate."
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