Donato clinches Orange victory by 50 votes after recount

PHIL Donato has expressed relief after finally being declared the new member of parliament for the electorate of Orange after a gruelling nine-day vote count following the by-election on November 12.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate went into the polling booths as an outsider, but was able to upset Nationals candidate Scott Barrett by the bare margin of just 50 votes – the first time the Nationals have been beaten forthe seat since 1947.

“It is a great relief,” Donato said.

“I am deeply humbled and thankful to all the people who voted for me and supported me.

“The emotional rollercoaster we have been on the last week or so has been filled with ups and downs so to finally get this result is fantastic.”

Donato said it has been a whirlwind ride since making the decision to run as a candidate at the by-election.

“I remember waking up in July and I was listening to the Big Sports Breakfast on 2KY when they announced the ban on greyhound racing.

“I thought it sounded a bit rough, not really knowing much about the greyhound industry.

“Then the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party decided they were going to run a candidate in the Orange by-election in August.

“I was speaking to a few people about it at the local gun shop and they decided to nominate me to have a crack.

“I have always been a hunter and a shooter…it’s been a hobby I have enjoyed since I was a young boy so when the opportunity presented itself to run as a candidate for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party it just sat well with me and I just really wanted to be able to do the best thing I could for the community.”

Donato said Premier Mike Baird’s decision to ban greyhound racing was the catalyst behind his decision to run in the by-election.

“I have lived and worked in the community and I have battled along with a lot of other people just to make ends meat. I know what it’s like, life can be tough for most people and you have got to work really hard to get what you want.

“I feel a deep sense of sympathy for people within the greyhound industry in regards to how they were they were stereotyped and had their livelihoods and industry shut down.

“It struck a chord with me. With matters of dealing with facts and evidence and needing to retain the utmost fairness – it’s all a part of my work and it was clear to me that what was happening to the greyhound industry and its people was unfair.”

Despite the win being rewarding, Donato reiterated it was a lot of hard work to achieve the victory.

“It was a massive upset and a massive win for the battlers and the underdogs.

“We really exceeded our expectations. We always knew we would put up a good fight because I am well known in the area through my work and other commitments, but if someone had of said to me two months ago that I would win the Orange by-election I would have told them they’re mad.

“We worked hard on the ground, talking to people. We have worked really hard on a grass roots, boot lace campaign. It’s involved lots of door knocking, visiting pubs, clubs and speaking to a lot of people around the electorate.

“People are sick of elitist politicians who don’t really have a lot of life experience outside of politics, telling them what to do and making life-changing decisions which effect them.

“I made sure I listened to everyone’s concerns and the people have responded accordingly. I am deeply humbled and appreciative and I promise to work my backside off over the next two and a half years to ensure I can represent the electorate again in 2019.”

Past Discussion

  1. People are sick of elitist politicians who don’t really have a lot of life experience outside of politics, telling them what to do and making life-changing decisions which effect them.

    ain’t that the truth?

    sick of these TYPES of showmen/women who say what we need to hear to get voted in,then do the complete opposites.

    they are a disgrace,and politics,whilst needed(debateable) is just a ticket to corruption for many.scallywags? no,criminals. yes.

    I have an old saying I use many,many times. so simple,but read between the lines. it concerns many subjects and embraces many people.

    SWING WITH MONKEYS……..and when they swing from tree to tree,leaving behind the ones they just got to know,to saddle up with a new member on another branch. think about it.

    sums up pollies so easily.

  2. note..

    ”GOVERNMENTS DON’T LEAD, THEY FOLLOW TRENDS”……….ain’t that the truth.

    one day,we will have a government that does what is needed to be done, not what a minority group demands.

    and if this follows a dictatorial attitude,then so be it.

    could not do any worse than what has been occurring over the past 2 decades. lost is a pretty good word for governments.

    lead,dont follow, is a better assumption.

    so many examples of poor governmental command.and our world and countries are showing the benefits of poor governments. there are no benefits.that is why we are a s… country today.

    mind you,we don’t stand alone in that gold medal victory.

  3. spyman So true , and  why do they follow the lead of the Americans, the Country is a basket case, no wonder they a known as Septic Tanks = full of sh*t  and Australian Politicians following their lead and finish in the POO ! which is not good for you and I the ordinary, hard working Australian .  Orange is a great example of People Power and we need more of it !

  4. BobWhitelaw spyman 

    Absolutely agree Bob.  American politicians are obsessed with bible bashing and Mike Baird has found out that it does not work in Australia.

    If our politicians want to commit suicide then the Australian people will bury them. The real Aussies are coming out of the woodwork!

  5. Lets Look at the Extreme Greens Mentality, this week they ask the speaker of the lower house , that the new member for Orange  who will sit with the cross benches in the house not to be sitting near them. That’s the greatest load of sh*t i have every heard, but then again we are talking about people who walk around with their Heads up their ar*e, so its not out of the question for them with this request !

  6. lone widow Deborah555 BobWhitelaw  My baby girl just won  her first race after I had nursed her for months  back to health when she got acidosis. I was beside my self with excitement and have watched the replay 20 times.  

  7. Deborah555 lone widow BobWhitelaw Congrats Deborah,  patience is the key.

    One of mine ran a close third in a fast run race,  they are just over 17 months now so i decided to ease up on them now until they are about 20 – 22 months.  It’s too far to the track from here during the summer months.

    This is what it’s all about.

  8. Deborah555 lone widow BobWhitelaw What a magic moment for you , i bet you know ,that she”s know ‘s that she’s made you feel  so very special with that win  ,congratulations to you both.

  9. lone widow Deborah555 BobWhitelaw  Well in your hands when the weather cools down a win is a certainty. It is just so exciting isn’t it?

  10. BobWhitelaw Deborah555 lone widow  Thanks Bob and if she never wins another one I will not care but I wanted her to fulfil her destiny she is a racing greyhound and even if she doesn’t win a cent more she has a home with me for life. Actually when I went into the pup yard at the farm where I bought her there were 12 in the littler and I said “who wants a home for life no matter how fast you can run” and she raced over and I kid you not jumped into my arms so I picked her and of course I noticed she was hogging the food bowl and I love greedy little greyhound puppies they have the right attitude. Well that’s my experience anyway. She loves to race almost rips my arm out of it’s socket to get to the car on race days I am amazed how she knows it is race day but she does. Yes the anti mob just do not get it so they?

  11. Deborah555 BobWhitelaw lone widow That’s what dreams are made of Deborah, now i know how to pick my next pup.

    You’re right about the anti mob,  they just are not capable of feeling unless there’s something in it for them.

    I am trying not to think too much about them now that they are in self destruct mode.  Surely no political party would come near them now after what has happened to the NSW Coalition.  Mind you these pollys are slow learners.

  12. lone widow Deborah555 BobWhitelaw  I think they will back off I mean if you asked any pollie in the country would they like to go out and announce we are banning greyhounds and I doubt you would get a single taker. The nutters from the animal lovers brigade will continue that  is what nutters do but I think they have lost some serious traction. I think the greens are seriously on the nose in NSW . The vast majority of us do and have always done the right thing so really it is not too difficult but we must remain vigilant. I am just getting on with doing what I love. I am too old to breed and look after too many dogs these days my back is stuffed –  so I am happy to buy any I want in the future.  Go the greedy ones is my motto on pup selection lone widow.

  13. Deborah555 lone widow BobWhitelaw Well, i  feel some good will come out of the attack on the Greyhound Industry here in nsw and the other states. With the attempt to shut it down in nsw i believe  no government will be ever game to try that stunt again, it also brought the industry together right across Australia and  put on notice to the other two codes of racing we are no longer a soft target which has been the past practice for them and the Bad, Bad, Baird and Grant Government for years .Please tell me what other sport has claimed the SCALP of a Deputy Premier of a government.  The War is not over yet, but i feel we are winning the Battle! The support of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers to Industry is one of reason we are winning the battle, the win in Orange is proof of that . I spoke to Phil Donato after his win in the seat , he said his first task would pushing the Government to repeal the Greyhound Prohibition Bill .2015  and for a board to be appointed which  he  believes should be 50% participant based and a CEO who is there for the industry not  for ones self interest ,someone like Warren Wilson comes to mind,he also said it was Party policy for the Greyhounds to receive their FAIR -SHARE of Wagering and Tax Parity which would make the industry viable once more. John Tracy,  it was a master stoke by Greyhound Action Group to get on board with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party , John , as the only Greyhound Historian that our industry has, you must agree its been a game changer in many ways , also thank you for your wisdom and advice in many ways has also helped in this war.We must give credit to those when credit is due !

  14. Deborah555 lone widow BobWhitelaw 

    I agree with all you say Deborah. I think i have bred my last litter also.  If you breed a litter you have to accept what you get but if you buy you may get the pick of the litter. 

    Ahh it feels good to get back to normal.

  15. lone widow Deborah555 BobWhitelaw  Yes it is bliss to get on with it. It is all a risk which ever way you go and of course part of the fun-  and if you get 12 that’s a lot to feed if you could get your bitch just to have two that would be good but of course it doesn’t work like that. When you just love it like we do it really doesn’t matter as long as you get one that will run around and do their best.

  16. BobWhitelaw  Yes I have heard that from a number of sources Bob. I am beginning to wonder that there could not be this much smoke without  some fire and your source and you have me believing that perhaps it will happen.