Keith Duncan, Pimlico.
Since the Nationals lost Ballina in a huge anti-coal-seam-gas protest vote, they were never going to accept the loss. It was no coincidence when an astute politician like Mr Franklin suddenly appeared on our doorstep and immediately embarked on a relentless campaign of pork-barrelling.
The recipients of all this largesse are cash-strapped essential local community organisations, and there has certainly been no criticism of that. An experienced politician like Mr Franklin, well versed in political tactics, would be very schooled in the art of pork barrelling, hence the sensitivity when challenged on the issue.
But do we really need the Nationals back, with their appalling record on environmental issues? Mr Franklin has been cunningly using his privileged govt position and access to govt coffers bloated with money from public asset sales (in excess of 60 billion dollars), giving him a massive advantage over both MP Tamara Smith and Labor candidate Asren Pugh.
If Mr Franklin’s govt is terminated next year, he will lose access to the money pot, and if Labor candidate Asren Pugh is elected in Ballina, he will then get access to that same money pot. So, Mr Franklin, thanks for returning OUR money, but no thanks, we’ll be fine if we don’t elect you.