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Animal Rights campaigner Mark Pearson beats No Land Tax Party's Peter Jones to seat in the Upper House

Alicia Wood State Political Reporter
The Daily Telegraph
April 17, 2015

Newly elected Animal Justice Party member Mark Pearson has promised to work with all other MPs -- even the Shooters and Fishers -- to promote the cause of animal rights.

Picture: Mark Scott. Source: News Corp Australia

Animal Justice Party wins 'nailbiting' result

Promises to advance better outcomes for animals
Willing to work alongside Shooters and Fishers party
Has refused to support lease of electricity network
Is this electoral progress or a likely spanner in the works? Tell us below

ANIMAL rights campaigner Mark Pearson has beaten self-described "psycho" Peter Jones to a seat in the NSW Upper House.

But the fight could be far from over with the No Land Tax's leader threatening to take the entire election to the court of disputed returns, if the Independent Commission Against Corruption does not adequately investigate his complaints about MPs using their electorate offices to campaign, Liberal volunteers allegedly telling his volunteers they would not be paid, and about Premier Mike Baird changing electoral laws to benefit the Liberal party.

Mr Pearson said he will work constructively with all parties in the Upper House, including the Shooters and Fishers party, to advance better outcomes for animals, but has ruled out supporting the government's 49 per cent lease of the electricity network.

The government will need the support of Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile to approve the lease, after Reverend Nile concludes a parliamentary inquiry into the policy.

Mr Pearson said it was a "nailbiting" result, but he was "thrilled".

Mark Pearson is 'thrilled' by result.

"It is really thrilling to know that we are joining the EU in having elected to parliament people on the basis of animal protection," Mr Pearson said.

His priorities will be to introduce legislation that bans factory farming, to stop the commercial killing of kangaroos for export, and to oppose the power lease on the basis that it is an industry that destroys animal habitats.

"Other areas we would look at is the education system in NSW and how it relates to the awareness in children of where their food comes from, where it is sourced and how animals are treated and handled," Mr Pearson said.

While he expects to "lock horns" with Shooters and Fishers MPs Robert Borsak and Robert Brown, he wants to work with them on any common ground they may have.

"I'm willing to stand beside any member of parliament if it achieves outcomes for the wellbeing of animals," Mr Pearson said.

Mr Jones, who is yet to pay his election workers, said he would give ICAC a chance to investigate his complaints but if it declines, he will refer the NSW election to the court of disputed returns.

"We should've paid people the week after the election, but because of [the Daily Telegraph], 2GB and the Liberal Party that didn't happen. Rest assured, everyone responsible for the delays will be held accountable -- that includes you," Mr Jones said yesterday.

Mr Jones said he was concerned that the ICAC was "clearly showing anti Labor and pro Liberal bias" but would give the corruption watchdog a chance to investigate a detailed complaint he intends to lodge in the following fortnight.
Mr Jones has a legal deadline of April 28 to pay people who campaigned for his party on election day.

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