Two weeks after the byelection that swept the NSW Nationals from the Orange electorate, the party’s new leader John Barilaro returned to survey the damage.
Mr Barilaro last week replaced Dubbo MP Troy Grant, who resigned as leader after a massive swing against the Nationals.
Mr Barilaro and his deputy leader Niall Blair were meeting representatives of councils, constituents and greyhound industry figures on Thursday and Friday.
“The first decision was to come back to Orange, to engage and listen and understand what went wrong,” he said.
“For those communities in Molong and Cabonne, there’s no question, local government mergers and amalgamations has been the issue and I’m not going to pretend that wasn’t the case,” Mr Barilaro said.
“In other parts of the electorate, there are other issues.
“To talk about reversal or non-reversal is not what I’m here about, I’m actually here to listen first and find out about all the issues, local government is just one, but I’m here to engage.”