The resignation of NSW Nationals MP Adrian Piccoli means the MIA will be heading to polls before the end of year, 18 month earlier than the next NSW state election in 2019.
A NSW state by-election is estimated to cost taxpayers $720,000, according to the NSW Electoral Commission.
The seat of Murray, and its predecessor seat Murrumbidgee, have been safely held by the National Party since 1984.
But with anger over hospital cuts and the by-election cost, other parties see an opportunity to break the three decade streak.
Here’s what the political parties and candidates likely to run have said about Adrian Piccoli’s resignation and their by-election plans.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party
Having stunned the National Party to win the seat of Orange in November 2016, MLA Robert Borsak says his party will definitely run a candidate in Murray, and sees the prospect of another upset.
“Unlike the National Party, we don’t take an election win as a certainty. Our information shows that a by-election in Murray will be a close contest between the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party and the National Party.”
Mr Borsak also sees the $720,000 by-election cost as a waste of money.
“The money that the Murray by-election will cost the taxpayer should have been put into vital rural services.”
“In the last few months, Mr Piccoli’s own Murrumbidgee Local Health District tried closing vital services at Griffith Hospital and Temora Hospital because there wasn’t enough money in the budget. One of those was being cut because the Government couldn’t afford an air conditioner.
“If we didn’t have so many National Party MPs running up by-election costs every time they jumped ship for a better job offer, perhaps the Government could actually afford to give rural communities the services they deserve.”
Deputy Premier and Leader of the NSW Nationals John Barilaro said, “while we will miss Adrian's experience, it's important to remember that this opportunity presents us with a great chance to identify and develop fresh, new talent for the NSW Nationals”.
He said he’s looking forward to unearthing a talented candidate for the seat.
Farmer and water advocate Helen Dalton ran as an independent at the 2015 election, winning 18 per cent of the vote.
She said she has not yet decided whether she will run in the upcoming by-election, but has savaged current member.
“Adrian Piccoli is now desperately trying to salvage his legacy which was poor and ineffective”.
“The people of Murray elected Adrian for a period of four years, not just until he found a better gig along with a pumped up ministerial pension”.
NSW Labor did not respond to our request on whether they will field a candidate by our deadline.
At the 2015 election, Max Buljubasic contested the election for Labor, winning 16 per cent of the vote.
NSW Greens said they intend to run a candidate for the seat of Murray.
Greens councillor for Albury Amanda Cohn sees health care cuts as a big issue.
"The National Party have taken the support of Riverina communities for granted for far too long. The current hospitals debacle is a perfect example of those of us who live in "safe seats" missing out. Adrian Piccoli's resignation is a timely and welcome opportunity for Murray residents to elect better representation - the upcoming byelection could be a referendum on our health care.
"In 2017, it is completely unacceptable for regional Australians to be treated like second-class citizens. Adequate funding for our health services is not just a political issue - it's a matter of life and death. Any hopeful MP will need to articulate clear plans for health in our region."