Rivals critical of MP's pledge to sit on cross benches
PAGE MP Kevin Hogan's decision to move to the cross benches is meaningless and smacks of self interest say his political rivals for the seat.
The Labor candidate Patrick Deegan said Mr Hogan's voting track record in the parliament suggested the Coalition has little to fear from the move.
"Mr Hogan didn't stand up for his community in voting with the Liberal/Coalition on issues like getting rid of Sunday penalty rates, cuts to ABC and SBS funding, not supporting a banking Royal Commission, tighter means testing of family payments, and the list goes on," Mr Deegan said.
"Hogan's empty rhetoric is entirely consistent with the hypocrisy that he has shown throughout his political career."
Mr Deegan said the Page MP needed to think hard about what he stands for as a politician.
"Sitting on the cross bench is a betrayal of his supporters. He was elected a National. If he sits on the cross bench what is he?", Mr Deegan said
"He must resign from the National party and sit as an independent."
The Greens candidate for the Federal electorate of Page, Daniel Reid welcomed the move to the cross benches.
"All Australians are sick and tired of leadership changes - there have been five changes since John Howard was voted out in 2007. This situation is very destabilising," he said.
"However, he doesn't believe that this make any difference in our Page electorate?
"Kevin will still vote with the Nationals, toeing the line like he always has."
"Would it have changed his position when he voted down penalty rates for workers? Will he still accept money for his campaign from coal executives and media barons, becoming complicit in supporting their interests? And will he still support the NEG and the fossil fuel industry despite strong support in this electorate for using renewables?"
"Kevin's move is a pragmatic one, protecting his interests in Page, but it is case of too little too late.
"If Kevin wanted to be a real advocate and representative for Page then he would stand as an independent at the next election and turn back the money from The Nationals' corporate donors."
He said Mr Hogan needs to be honest with the people of Northern NSW and declare which side he is on.
"Is he a member of the Abbott/Turnbull/Dutton/Whoever Government, or is he an Independent?" Mr Reid said. "He cannot be both."