THE place for principle in modern politics is long gone.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant stands condemned for reactively dumping his Nationals colleague Katrina Hodgkinson and for the manner in which he did it.
Last week he said he was proud of Nationals MPs who crossed the floor to oppose the greyhound racing ban.
“It is not an easy thing to do,” he said.
By Friday he had sacked Ms Hodgkinson and Chris Gulaptis as Parliamentary Secretaries.
We can think of no greater ignominy than discovering that fate via press release.
‘Renewed focus on northern and southern NSW’, the document was titled.
The MPs were only mentioned in the last paragraph.
Sadly, Ms Hodgkinson “fully expected” the move.
That’s the price for speaking up for one’s electorate, against the party machine. After 17 years in politics, she knows the game.
“I have been threatened for expressing my views by some who have served in this place for periods far less than me. So be it,” she said during her parliamentary speech opposing the ban.
“After 17 years I will happily stand by my reasoning. To serve in Parliament members must have some guiding principles that are innate and not instructed.”
Contrast this with Goulburn MP Pru Goward. She reportedly opposed the ban in the party room, saying it was not Liberal philosophy. But publicly she supported it and on Wednesday voted in favour.
Just who was she representing - her own interests or the electorate’s? Goulburn and district was certainly shouting its opposition to the rooftops.
We accept that cruel practices have occurred in the industry and the need for wholesale reform. That’s exactly what should happen, not a dictatorial, undemocratic shutting down of greyhound racing.
In his first big test, Mr Grant has caved into the Liberals. If politics is about genuine representation, he could take some cues from Ms Hodgkinson.
Buskout makes the main street vibrant
On a brighter note, it was great to see all of the young talent in the main street on Saturday for Buskout 2016. Such events help make Goulburn more vibrant. Congratulations to the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium for organising it and all of the young participants who got involved.