ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A PROMINENT COUNTRY businessman has been thrown out of The Nationals after he installed solar panels on the roof of his Dubbo home.

Owner-operator of Macquarie Smash Repairs and David Murray, told local media that certain factions of the Nationals regard solar panels as “witchcraft”.

The former rugby sensation and cattle grazier also claims his family have had to endure the frightening ordeal of having large wooden crosses burnt on their front lawn several times in the past few months.

In 2011, Mr Murray donated a large sum to his area Rotary Club, which enabled them to make improvements to public facilities such as playgrounds, parks and The Amaroo Hotel.

Concerned by both the prospect of climate change and his soaring energy bills, Murray said installing solar panels on the roofs of his home and business was a “no brainer”.

“I’ve been in the area my whole life and the local environment, especially in recent years, has changed dramatically,” said Murray. “So I thought I’d do the right thing and do my part for the environment. Next thing a letter shows up in the mail saying I’m being chucked out.”

The 44-year-old joins a long list of disgruntled regional men who’ve been thrown out of The Nationals for trivial reasons.

Last year, a Cowra farmer was expelled from his local branch after it was discovered his farm ute, a 2013 Toyota Hilux, had an automatic transmission. Manual vehicles were made compulsory by the party in 1991 unless the member is married, in which only he’s allowed to own an automatic for his wife to use.

Another member was banned from attending local meetings for encouraging the marriage between an Anglican girl from Goondiwindi and a dark-haired Catholic from Griffith.

The Nationals have declined to comment on the matter, telling The Advocate that people should judge them on their policy, not on cheap gossip.


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