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After a grim year of loss and tragedy following a record breaking drought that turned into record breaking bushfires, the good people of Eden-Monaro are now staring down the barrel at by-election that also insults their intelligence.
This comes after the region’s long-serving Federal Labor MP, Mike Kelly, has ended months of speculation by making the “gut-wrenching” decision to resign from Parliament during the pandemic, to focus on recovering from health issues that stem back to his days in his decades working as a soldier and peacekeeper in Somalia, Iraq and Bosnia.
As one of the most volatile swing seats in the nation, Eden-Monaro extends from the far South Coast of NSW, right through to the cross-border outskirts of Canberra. Making it one of the worst bushfire affected electorates in Australia.
The by-election earlier this month sparked tension between NSW frontbenchers John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, after both coalition MPs pulled out of the race within days of announcing their Federal ambitions. Leaving many Australians to ask themselves what the fuck is going on there.
The coalition have since attempted to wash out these factional nightmare by announcing the return of Liberal Dr Fiona Kotvojs, who lost to Kelly in 2019, as their pick to contest the seat against whoever Labor has put forward.
With two inexperienced political candidates now running in both red and blue, locals were hoping that the national conversation would return to providing support for those who lost family members, businesses and homes in the unprecedented climate-change-aided Black Summer bushfires.
However, it seems this particular issue is to likely remain on the backburner, as the entire nation becomes invested in whether or not the out of control population of feral horses in the Snowy Mountains should be relocated to the National Park in the sky.
The Betoota Advocate has today spoken to one of the wild animals at the centre of this debate.
Local two-headed feral brumby, Shonky (12) says she’s actually quite flattered to be prioritised over the economic and environmental collapse of human society.
This comes as both Liberals, Nationals, Labor and the Greens take four slightly different, mildly contrarian, positions in the debate over whether or not the unshod hooves of introduced land animals tearing about the mountainside and shitting all through the rivers is actually a good thing for the ecosystems within the Kosciuszko National Park.
“I was actually lucky that I didn’t become one of the billion wild animals killed by the fires in December and January” neighs Shonky.
“And now I’m being saved from the knackery by the National Party of all people, or maybe it’s the Greens… I don’t know… Everyone is all over the shop”
As Shonky points out, she and the thousands of other inbred wild horses that live in the NSW high country can’t believe their luck to have an Australian media and political class that are so intent on not discussing climate change policies that the quiet culling of pests in the Snowy River could become the number one issue in this upcoming by-election, even during a global pandemic.
“Really makes a gal feel special” says Shonky, before rearing onto her hind legs as she prepares to randomly bolt down the mountain for no reason.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Platypus eggs to go and stomp on!”