Shooters, Fishers and Farmer's Murray candidate Helen Dalton has fielded concerns regarding conflicts of interest after her husband, Nayce Dalton, was elected Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) chairman.
In the upcoming State election, water has been out in front as one of the biggest campaign platforms for Mrs Dalton and other candidates, some of which have called the MI connection a conflict of interest.
One Nation's candidate Tom Weyrich said it was a "huge" conflict with the potential for "enormous" repercussions for irrigators and the wider Murray community if Mrs Dalton was elected.
"Murrumbidgee Irrigation certainly has a leaning towards government policy, and for many years has been a cause for concern," Mr Weyrich claimed.
"If Helen is elected that is quite clearly a conflict of interest - one of them will have to go. It does not pass the pub test."
Fighting for a "fair deal" for the electorate's irrigators, Mrs Dalton hit back and said she was "addressing different issues" than MI.
"Well to be honest he is at board level, and the board is all confidential - he doesn’t discuss what is happening with me and I don’t ask him about it," Mrs Dalton said.
"We do discuss water and all I am after is a better deal for irrigators in the seat of Murray and I will continue to champion our communities here."
Mr Dalton agreed, saying said while they would both work with water issues, their roles moved in the completely different areas of water policy versus water delivery.
"We (MI) are a commercial organisation. We are not a political organisation. We have no influence over allocations - that is all water NSW.
"We only get involved when it directly impacts us, but internally how we run our business has nothing to do with politics," Mr Dalton said.
Yet Mr Weyrich, being married for around 40 years, said it was "ridiculous" to think they didn't discuss those issues.
"Married couples have an intimate relationship and discus things, and it's reasonable to think they would. I've married for 40 years and I tell my wife things... that's what marriage is," Mr Weyrich said.
Member for Murray and Nationals' candidate Austin Evans, despite facing fierce competition from Mrs Dalton, said he didn't care who anyone was married to if they were doing the best for the community.
"I congratulate Nayce on becoming the chair of MI - Iv'e known him for awhile, and I support anyone who works for the best interest of the electorate," Mr Evans.
"I don't think it matter who you are married to, if it helps to the the improvement to the electorate that's who I will work with."
President of the Ricegrowers Association (RGA) Jeremy Morton said the association would work with whoever was elected, and the conflict, if there was one, would need to be sorted out with the relevant parties and organisations themselves.
"It’s not unusual to have conflict of interest, but it's certainly that the RGA doesn’t have a view specifically on Nayce and Helen or any potential conflicts."
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