Premier Barry O’Farrell said today he had heard “the message” sent by voters in the Miranda by-election.
“From the moment Graham Annesley quit, we were behind the 8 ball and when Barry Collier was selected as the candidate it went beyond reach,” he told John Stanley on 2UE.
“I congratulate Barry Collier on his victory and there is no doubt his experience and profile in local politics over 12 years certainty contributed to the win, but there is no getting away from the fact that the result principally reflected voters’ understandable disappointment and anger at the unexpected mid-term resignation of the former Liberal MP and, of course, the local community’s concerns around the activities of Sutherland Shire Council.”
“They sent a message and that message has been heard by me.”
Mr O’Farrell claimed some of the anger over development resulted from Part 3A decisions “approved by the former government under that provision we have since axed”.
Barry Collier said today a combination of local concerns were behind the result.
They included overdevelopment, rail timetable cuts at Jannali and Como stations and trains from the shire no longer stopping at Kogarah, Sutherland Hospital’s need for $50 million to keep pace with the population’s needs, temporary closures of Miranda fire stations and TAFE cuts.
Barry Collier has won the Miranda by-election with a massive swing to the Labor Party of about 27 per cent.
It is one of the biggest by-election swings on record.
Ï feel very humbled and privileged to be returning to State Parliament to represent the people of Miranda,” he told the Leader at the Tradies club, Gymea, where he celebrated with jubilant supporters.
Ï want to thank people for giving me this opportunity.
“There is a lot to do.
“We fought the by-election on local issues such as stopping overdevelopment in Sutherland Shire and the closure of fire stations.”
“Those issues obviously resonated with voters.”
Liberal candidate Brett Thomas said he was "disappointed".
He blamed the result on Graham Annesley quitting in the middle of his first term and the allegations involving Sutherland Shire Council.
Opposition Leader John Roberston said early results indicated the largest swing in a by-election in NSW since World War 11.
"The people of the shire have sent Barry O’Farrell the strongest of messages tonight," he said.
“In the last two and a half years Barry O’Farrell and his Government have taken families for granted.”
More in Tuesday’s Leader
What do you think of the result?