Hickey’s focus ‘not on federal issues’

Labor candidate for Farrer Gavin Hickey campaigning in Corowa on Saturday. Picture: BEN EYLESCOROWA mayor Fred Longmire has accused Farrer Labor candidate Gavin Hickey of failing to focus on federal issues during a campaign visit to the town on Saturday.

Cr Longmire said Mr Hickey focused his attention on the community’s desire for a pedestrian crossing in the main street.

Mr Hickey said he was aware the crossing was not a federal issue but thought it was important to bring publicity to a project that would help the community.

“It’s certainly difficult to cross the road in Corowa and if it makes the community feel safer then it seems like a good idea,” he said.

“There’s a lot of support around it and putting a crossing in the street seems like a reasonable thing to do.”

Cr Longmire said the council was already working to install a crossing in Sanger Street and hoped it would go ahead early next month.

His main concern was securing federal regional development funding for a saleyards upgrade and he said Mr Hickey had not concentrated on that issue.

“He kept his attention on the crossing which is not relevant and has nothing to do with the federal government,” he said.

Mr Hickey said he was happy to support funding for the saleyards and acknowledged it was a priority for Cr Longmire.

“It is important for me to hear concerns,” he said.

“It’s the best bit of campaigning when you go out and meet people.

“Whether I get elected or not I’m very happy to listen to anyone and do as much as I can.”

Cr Longmire said he hoped to discuss with Mr Hickey the importance of the saleyards funding.

“The saleyards are a regional issue and I’m so disappointed by the amount of times we have been declined funding,” he said.

“I drew the conversation about the saleyards into position with Mr Hickey, but he didn’t understand it.”

Cr Longmire said he wanted support for the application because the $1.3 million for the saleyards would just be a “drop in the ocean”.

“The funding would be for primary production in this region and it is so important,” he said.

Mr Hickey will do a similar walk in Dean Street, Albury, today from 10am and invites people to discuss issues.

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