BY ISABEL EVERETT
Pub owner, and property development manager Dale McNamara has been named as One Nation’s candidate for the crucial Upper Hunter by-election.
Born in Singleton, Mr McNamara worked as a coal miner for over 10 years, before investing in a number of companies like PPK, GE Mining and Industrea.
While being unveiled as the party’s candidate on Thursday, he said the current government is pulling the wool over the Upper Hunter’s eyes.
“I think the people in the Upper Hunter are smart enough to know they’ve had a gut full. Everyone is s**t scared in the Hunter Valley, because they don’t know what’s coming next.”
“It scared the s**t out of me when I heard (Malcom) Turnbull was going to be our renewable manager.”
Mr Turnbull was dumped from the role.
Mr McNamara said if elected he’ll fight to ensure the Upper Hunter receives it’s fair share of mining royalties, with $1.1 billion reportedly collected from the Singleton and Muswellbrook LGA’S, and only 10% returning to local projects.
“There’s a lot of money that goes out of this valley, and there’s a lot of jobs in this valley, and they’ve got to stay here.”
Mr McNamara says large sums of money are being funneled into Sydney, when sporting clubs in Singleton cant afford change rooms for female players.
“Our girls in Singleton are playing Rugby league, Rugby Union, AFL and cricket, they’re getting changed in cars and toilets.”
Mr McNamara also said he wants more money invested into local health, vocational training, and roads.
“Let me tell you, I’ve been driving up to Dungog for a long time and if you don’t have a 4WD then don’t go up there.”
With strong ties to the Coal industry, he said the electorate cannot survive without the resource.
“All I can say is coal is my life. All this coal we’re not going to sell, how about we build some coal fired power stations and we can use our own, there’s a site right next to Bayswater power station.”
Mr McNamara may be vying for the seat against former One Nation member Stuart Bonds, after he flagged making a possible move to State politics and running as a independent.
A former Federal member, Mr Bonds was dumped from the party after expressing opposition to it’s support of industrial relations laws passed by the Federal Government, which he said allows for the further casualisation of the mining workforce.
Mr McNamara said he wishes Mr Bonds all the best.
“Stuarts moved on and I’m here.”
One Nation Leader Mark Latham said he understands coal miners in the Upper Hunter may have different reactions to the industrial relations bill.
“The laws were passed in the Senate, and we’re running for State Parliament.”
“But it’s not surprising there are a range of views. I’ve spoken to coal miners who’ve looked at the package and they’ve see pluses in it.”