Australia

‘Creepy’ koala emails sent to Aussies

The Nationals have been blasted for sending out “creepy” unsolicited emails to Aussies in regional NSW after their disastrous koala bear stoush last week.Several homeowners with bush properties have contacted news.com.au to say they have been sent the emails, saying they feel their privacy has been violated.They had no idea how their email addresses were…

The Nationals have been blasted for sending out “creepy” unsolicited emails to Aussies in regional NSW after their disastrous koala bear stoush last week.

Several homeowners with bush properties have contacted news.com.au to say they have been sent the emails, saying they feel their privacy has been violated.

They had no idea how their email addresses were obtained by the party.

The emails, signed off by NSW Nationals Chairman Andrew Fraser tells homeowners the party has been “fighting for your property rights”.

It then makes reference to the party’s revolt against a koala protection policy.

“Regardless of what you may have read, seen or heard in the last 24 hours, the Nationals have now negotiated with our Coalition partners to take the matter to the NSW Cabinet,” the email reads.

David Dougherty, who lives near Mittagong, said he was not impressed by the email on a “number of counts”.

“The first being that this was received late at night and as I have not given my personal email to them I consider this as an invasion of privacy,” he told news.com.au.

Another regional homeowner told news.com.au the tactic was “creepy”.

It comes as NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has today emerged from a party room meeting with his position intact after questions were raised over his leadership last week.

This morning he addressed a joint party room meeting of the Liberals and Nationals via video conference and reaffirmed the Coalition between the two parties.

MPs did not call for a leadership spill and Mr Barilaro did not offer his resignation.

The Nationals last week effectively threatened to move to the crossbench over a bill related to koala conservation, when Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the party to fall into line or resign by 9am on Friday.

Mr Barilaro met with Ms Berejiklian on Friday morning and did not tender any resignations, and it’s understood no concessions were made to the Nationals to keep them on board.

Not long after, Mr Barilaro claimed the backdown as a win for the Nationals, and now it has been revealed the party sent text messages and emails to voters, which senior Liberals are not happy about.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance, in particular, is furious. He has even questioned whether he would be able to continue working with the Deputy Premier.

“The reason I am angry is on Friday, the Nats whacked out a text message … attacking this issue, when they had reached an agreement that morning to be good Coalition partners,” he told The Australian.

“I am pretty hurt from what has been said. Leadership is not what we saw on display last week. Leadership is about bringing everyone together.”

He said the text messages that were sent out targeted people who had been impacted from the summer bushfires and failed to identify the extinction crisis facing the state’s koala population.

It’s not the first time the pair have butted heads. The relationship soured during the preselection for the federal by-election for the seat of Eden-Monaro, when Mr Barilaro reportedly called the Transport Minister a “c**t”.

Benjamin.graham@news.com.au

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