Despite a defeat at the recent Murray by-election, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers say they’re here to stay.
With Helen Dalton as their local face, the party have announced their intention to “revitalise” party branches across the Riverina.
Official branches of the party have the power to attend conferences and propose policy and different motions.
Mrs Dalton says SFF want to bring practical, grass-roots solutions to people in rural and regional areas.
“People on the ground are wanting to set up branches to have input into policy. It’s really a grass-roots organisations,” she said.
“The party truly wants to represent farmers and hunters too and have some practical solutions to some of those problems.”
The party will focus on renewing and setting up branches in Griffith, Deniliquin, Wentworth, Hay, Moama and Leeton, among others.
State Political Director Filip Despotoski said Shooters, Fishers and Farmers are here to stay.
"We’ve historically had branches across the Murray region. What we’re doing now is revitalising some of those older branches and establishing some new ones,” he said.
“We want to set up some local voices within the party in all of those regions.”
He views strong rural branches both a way to keep the National Party – and his own – accountable to voters.
There are also plans for an open town meeting in Deniliquin where Mrs Dalton took out the majority of the primary vote.
She also highlighted Hay as a town at the top of her priority list.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party lost out to the Nationals with 31 per cent of first preference votes to the National’s 39 per cent.
On a two-party preferred basis, National’s candidate Austin Evans beat Mrs Dalton 53 per cent to 47 per cent.
Despite this, Mrs Dalton saw a swing of 13.3 per cent in her favour. She had previously run in the 2015 state election as an independent.
Mrs Dalton says she’ll continue to fight for rural and regional areas to get what she sees as their fair share.
“We need our fair share of the infrastructure funding we deserve. We want back a little of what we put in.”
Branches also educate people about the party and while also keeping the party informed of our local issues.”
Though she didn’t win the state seat at the recent by-election, she did achieve some personal goals.
“I set out to make the seat of Murray marginal. It keeps the State Government accountable to their promises.”
Austin Evans declined comment.
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