Marshall has learned lesson

HE’S a self-ordained “bloody idiot”, a lead-footed MP who has been in furious mea culpa mode since blowing the bag on a Glen Innes roadside last month.

And at his hearing at Glen Innes Local Court yesterday, it emerged Mr Marshall had more form than Phar Lap when it came to driving offences.

The 29-year-old has clocked up an astonishing 17 speeding tickets in his young life, in addition to his recent mid-range drink-driving charge.

In light of that string of speeding charges, Mr Marshall’s “moment of madness” defence rings a little hollow.

While he has shown admirable contrition in his words since his arrest, his actions behind the wheel over the years undermine his sincerity.

Mr Marshall has been a political wunderkind in his short career, respected by his constituents and widely tipped for a cabinet position in coming years.

With that power comes responsibility and accountability, as his former leader Barry O’Farrell discovered.

Mr Marshall is an effective local member and, as such, should be judged in context.

But as the leader of a region that has all-too-often been touched by the tragedy of road accidents, he must continue to lead by example both in and out of Parliament.

The member for Northern Tablelands is now on notice: his constituents expect better, he himself expects better and this newspaper will hold him to account if he slips up again.


IT WAS A piece of spin that would make Shane Warne proud.

A press release issued this week had Water Minister Kevin Humphries claiming a new trading scheme would drive down water prices for Peel irrigators.

The claim isn’t just insulting, it’s manifestly wrong.

You can’t trade what doesn’t exist and currently our general security irrigators, already being slugged 20 times more for water than some other parts of the Basin, have an allocation of precisely zero per cent.

Rather than throw up a political smokescreen, the minister would do better to focus on fixing the gross price inequity threatening to kill off our irrigation industry.

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