The Higher Hunter byelection will clearly be fought over a single situation: coal.
When Michael Johnsen resigned because the Nationals MP for the Higher Hunter over an allegation of rape (an allegation he denies), he triggered a byelection that shall be fought over a single situation: coal.
The now-marginal Nationals stronghold lies on the coronary heart of NSW coal nation. So it was little shock yesterday when state Nationals chief and deputy premier John Barilaro “saluted” a coal prepare chugging by way of Muswellbrook. Hours later, the social gathering preselected David Layzell, an area development supervisor, as its candidate.
Barilaro backs his man. He praised Layzell as delivering “one of the crucial spectacular speeches” he’d ever heard, and, maybe extra crucially, marked him as somebody who understood mining.
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