Local News

Chris Gulaptis and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro pictured in Grafton. Image: contributed

Bye, Bye Bara – a good friend

The surprise resignation of NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro is a blow to the Clarence and Richmond Valleys, which had a very good friend in him, but a new Nationals Leader will be equally supportive of regional NSW communities, according to Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis.

“John is a Nationals leader like we have rarely seen before: a totally fearless combatant for country areas who ensured we got not just our fair share but a little bit more, as signature initiatives like the Regional Growth Fund and the Regional Seniors Travel Card demonstrate,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“They broke the mould when they made Bara. He’s one of a kind who leads with his chin and has given his all for regional NSW.

Chris Gulaptis and John Barilaro at the official open of Stage 2 of the NRLX. Image: contributed

“He is also a good mate and a funny guy who I will miss.”

Mr Gulaptis said he’d wait to see who stood before making his preferences for a replacement known, but confirmed he would not be putting his own name forward for a leadership position.

“There is plenty of younger talent among the parliamentary Nationals MPs and as John said in his parting comments, this is a time for renewal,” Mr Gulaptis concluded.