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July 14th, 2018 by admin

‘Not a reality show’: NSW Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis denies leadership talk

Deputy Priemer Troy Grant (left) and NSW Premier Mike Baird (right) announced the details for the Greyhound Racing transition plan in July. Photo: Jessica HromasA leading NSW Nationals opponent of the government’s ban on greyhound racing has dismissed claims his party is on track for a leadership showdown if it does not reverse its policy.
Nanjing Night Net

There is growing speculation about a revolt within the Nationals, the Baird government’s junior Coalition partner, if leader Troy Grant does not move to dump the policy.

One Nationals MP claimed a majority in the party now opposed the ban and that the issue would be a key focus on Monday night when the party MPs convene after a parliamentary break.

But prominent anti-ban MP, the Nationals’ Chris Gulaptis, who was one of three party MPs to cross the floor to vote against the bill, said stability of government was more important than greyhound policy.

“This is not a reality show,” he said. “We can’t hold a vote, flick the remote and change the leader every time we don’t like a decision. We have got to have some stability.

“Our leadership has been terrific.”

The Baird government has been under mounting pressure to change tack on the greyhound issue amid growing media criticism and outspoken opposition from a wide range of federal Nationals figures.

A Channel 9 report on Wednesday quoted party sources claiming moves could be made against Mr Grant’s leadership next week if the party does not change its position.

The Nationals’ candidate for next month’s byelection in the NSW seat of Orange has also voiced his opposition to the ban.

But Mr Gulaptis said he remained hopeful of a change to the government’s greyhound policy but would have to wait for the release of a report by the head of the government’s industry transition taskforce John Keniry.

A senior government source said the Premier would likely seek to find reason to tone down the government’s stance based on the Keniry report.

The government has not specified a release date for that report. But cabinet is meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Baird last week apparently ruled out any change to the date at which the industry would be shut down. The Premier said a July 2017 end date for the industry was final.

Even a dissenting Nationals MP acknowledged that opponents of the ban were uncertain about moving against a policy position staked out so strongly by the party’s leader, Troy Grant.

“The party has never been so divided,” the source said. “But what happens next? That is the million-dollar question.”

Another MP, also speaking off the record, said that colleagues talking of a potential challenge were “full of it”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.