OUR SAY: Has the Orange byelection taught parties nothing?

ONE thing is for sure, there is no love lost in politics.

Still, it’s surprising sometimes just how petty it can get.

Do we expect political parties to give each other credit? Well there’s no pigs flying overhead so far.

But we expect a local member to be allowed to do his or her job.

And we think that means at least giving them the heads-up when a senior government official comes to town.

The answer from deputy premier John Barilaro’s office to our questions did not address the allegations of not notifying member for Orange Phil Donato prior to the two ministerial and parliamentary secretary visits in recent months, nor what efforts were being made to keep him informed of progress on funding or projects.

This begs the question as to whether any progress has been made since the November byelection.

Voters turfed out The Nationals because they did not listen on multiple fronts – council amalgamations and greyhounds being the main two.

If indeed they are trying to chop Mr Donato off at the knees, they are only reinforcing the perception that they don’t care what punters think.

After all he is the person who was legitimately elected to represent the electorate.

There’s no doubt about this because the votes were counted eight times under heavy scrutiny.

Mr Donato posed the question as to whether he would walk into the neighbouring electorates of Bathurst or Dubbo without a call to Paul Toole or Troy Grant first and the answer was a definite no.

He’s drawing positive reviews from constituents so far – we spoke to a representative from the Orange Push for Palliative group on Thursday, who confirmed Mr Donato was a firm supporter of the group and she expected the government to work with Mr Donato as they should with any local member.

To the government’s credit, Transport Minister Andrew Constance met with the Orange MP in parliament…

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