The NSW Nationals are the "underdogs" in the upcoming Upper Hunter by-election according to the NSW Premier.
The party chose Clarence Town local David Layzell over Singleton Mayor Sue Moore in their pre selection last night as the Upper Hunter candidate for the by-election.
At a press conference at Ravensworth Open Cut mine this morning, David Layzell said he loves the region for everything it has from mining to agriculture.
"The mining industry is a huge economic driver in our region and I've worked myself in one of these sheds, in building and construction so I know the importance of building and construction in this area as well,"
"I like to think the Upper Hunter is the centre of NSW at the moment!"
"I think this electorate is open to the NSW Nationals, there's been trouble but I think that the way the NSW Government and the Nationals have handled the situation in the last few weeks has been quick and has been swift and shown we have a standard for the people who represent our communities and we ask for the Upper Hunter to give us a chance," said David Layzell.
"I don't think it is going to be lost on the mining vote, I think it is going to be lost on how we can mange to keep families here, keep them working, keep the services in the small towns, keep the roads open, I think they are the things we will be going to the by-election on."
"Don't forget there are a lot of small businesses out there that provide things like PPE that we're wearing today, all these little businesses around the place, they rely on the mines so they are looking to us to support mining, we always have to protect our agricultural industries, we can't forget our agricultural industries but we need to support mining."
There have been questions about why the other candidate in the preselection race Singleton Mayor Sue Moore wasn't chosen, given the political climate and the former Upper Hunter MP, but David Layzell is confident the Upper Hunter can put their trust in him.
"I think this electorate is calling for good role models who are women and good role models who are men and I think I would like to think that I am a good role model as a man, that I can earn their trust as I come from a family background, I come from this area, I am part of a NSW Nationals family who is a values based organisation so I like to think that I can get around this electorate, I can meet these people and they can make that judgement for themselves."
"There's no doubt it is going to be a challenge, it is going to be a horse race like no other so all I can do is get on the track and run run run as fast as I can," he said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said they are definitely the "underdogs".
“I made my comments just based on what’s occurred in by-elections in the last 20 years NSW so the statistics are behind us, the statistics are against us, we are no doubt the underdogs,”
“If you look at the major swings in by-elections they’ve gone against sitting governments,” she said.
“We will work out guts out to demonstrate to the people of the Upper Hunter why we deserve to have David elected as their local representative and it won’t stop us fighting and it won’t stop us working our guts out,”
“We will be making history if we keep the seat, I’m all about making history,”
“But I just need to be honest in our expectations,” said the Premier.
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse