Roy hits the road — at last
Member for Barwon Roy Butler in Bourke last week with Shooters Fishers & Farmers Senate Candidate for NSW Brett Cooke of Orange PHOTO TWH
Barwon’s Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Roy Butler is now an official member of Parliament after being sworn in on 30th April 2019.
Mr Butler hopes he may now be considered as the bona fide representative of the state’s largest electorate - an attitude he said had not been demonstrated by members of the state government since he ousted the Nationals in the state election back in March.
Mr Butler said he had been snubbed by the Premier and many of her senior Ministers, despite being the man representing an electorate with two thirds of the state’s land mass.
“I hope the swearing-in has been the catalyst for the government to start talking to me about what we can do in Barwon,” Mr Butler said.
“I’ve made several attempts to get in touch with various members of the government through telephone, electronically through messaging, SMS, spoken to some face to face and just haven’t had a response.
“Maybe the swearing in has changed that attitude.”
Despite the slow start, Mr Butler has resumed his relentless travelling across the electorate that saw him mount a formidable election campaign in the NSW State election.
He attended four separate Anzac Day services last Thursday at Narrabri, West Narrabri RSL, Boggabri and Wee Waa.
“I am interested in all the communities in the electorate and aim to get to as many as possible but the realities of the job mean I can’t,” Mr Butler said.
“People think once you are in the job you are off and running but in reality that’s nothing like it.
“You have to wait for the poll count, and wait for the parliament to employ you.
“I tell the story of walking into a car dealership to get a vehicle after the election and they asked me if I had a job - I had to say no.
“Since the election on March 23 and the swearing-in on May 7, there have been nothing but tumbleweed and crickets,” Mr Butler said.
“However, I have now been sworn in and employed by parliament and I plan to get down to business as quickly as possible.”
Mr Butler said the vehicle issue was now resolved and he was keen to get on the road, already clocking up 1500 kilometres in less than a week.
He had meetings with Council and other organisations in Bourke last week as part of a tour of the North West part of the electorate.
“I now have staff employed so we can really start providing a more timely service to people,” he said.
“People told me it was a mistake to put my mobile phone number out there because I would be making myself too accessible and there may be some truth in that.
“If they’re calling me about dogs barking or immigration I can tell them they are local or federal government issues and put them onto the relevant minister.
“But I had a call from an elderly man in the electorate who hadn’t had a landline for six weeks and although I can’t fix the phone for him I can help him get the problem sorted by getting him to connect with the Ombudsman rather than getting tied up with the paperwork and red tape.
Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.