NATIONALS MPs Katrina Hodgkinson and Chris Gulaptis have been removed from their positions as parliamentary secretaries of southern and Northern New South Wales.
The news comes just days after Hodgkinson and Gulaptis made the decision to cross the floor in an attempt to block the government’s proposed ban on greyhound racing alongside another Nationals MP, Kevin Humphries.
They are being replaced by Adam Marshall and Bronnie Taylor, both of whom voted in support of the ban, with the legislation passing through the NSW Lower House in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“Both Adam and Bronnie will bring a renewed focus on regional NSW, ensuring the communities of northern and southern NSW have a strong voice in government,” said Troy Grant, Deputy Premier and leader of the NSW Nationals Party.
“Adam and Bronnie both have a track record of delivering for their communities and I know they will kick goals in their new roles.
“Regional communications and renewable energies are both important issues in the bush and are clear priorities for the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government with these responsibilities now attached to the Parliamentary Secretary roles.
“I thank outgoing Parliamentary Secretaries Katrina Hodgkinson and Chris Gulaptis for their service in their roles and look forward to speaking to them both about other opportunities to best serve their communities into the future.”
The news that Gulaptis and Hodgkinson have been dumped as Parliamentary secretaries comes despite Grant having praised both MPs for standing up for their constituents over the greyhound racing ban.
“There is no resentment against them for doing that. I’m actually proud of them for doing that, it is not an easy thing,” Grant had said.
Gulaptis told APN’s Daily Examiner on Friday that he would not change his actions to cross the floor if he could go back.
“I’d do it over and over again if I was in the same situation,” Gulaptis said.
“This was not about me – it was about people in the greyhound racing industry losing their livelihoods, their sport and the dogs they love.
“This was a real core community issue.”
Both Marshall and Taylor are expected to receive a $30,000 pay rise in their new roles.