INDEPENDENT candidate for Farrer and Albury mayor Kevin Mack has been attacked by his Labor rival over the troubled Lavington Sportsground upgrade.
Kieran Drabsch said the treatment of subcontractors working on the project had been a concern raised with him in the wake of the company tendered by Albury Council to revamp the oval collapsing.
"That's on the head of Kevin Mack and the reality is there are people in this town that are very angry they've been left out of pocket," Mr Drabsch said.
"Under a Labor government we're going to put in protections to make sure subcontractors get their money when a main contractor goes insolvent."
Asked how that would work and whether taxpayers would cover losses, Mr Drabsch could not say, asking The Border Mail to email him for that information.
A response is yet to be received to the resulting email.
Mr Mack rejected Mr Drabsch's view that he was too blame for subcontractors losing money.
"This is not on the councillors' heads, this is something that was unforeseen," Mr Mack said.
"It's not something an individual needs to own.
"We have assisted the subcontractors as best as we can in other ways, it's unfortunate they're out of pocket but our staff did their due diligence on Depan and there were four contracts he defaulted on, so it was not just us.
"I think Kieran needs to focus on the actions of the federal government and not things he knows nothing about."
Mr Drabsch's comments came as the official election campaign began on Thursday with May 18 announced as polling day.
He and Mr Mack are challenging Liberal incumbent Sussan Ley.
"Kevin can't deliver and Sussan won't deliver and I can deliver," Mr Drabsch said.
"Whether I was in government or parliament, in opposition, the reality is I would do a lot more for this community than Sussan has done in 18 years.
"Not only has she not been on a water committee, she has the lowest performance of someone in the parliamentary process.
"This election in Farrer is a referendum on trust and a referendum on whether people want the current member that doesn't deliver or a new member that does deliver."
Ms Ley fired back, suggesting Mr Drabsch was trying to distract voters' interest away from the Labor Party's water policy.
It's game on! The Federal election has been called for Saturday 18 May 2019 and I am in Deniliquin and Balranald today meeting with voters including Pat from the Salvation Army at Deniliquin. #firstname.lastname@example.org/7P6mnIkUI6— Kevin Mack For Farrer (@Mack4Farrer) April 11, 2019
"Mr Drabsch's comments all week are simply trying to divert attention from his party's appalling move to remove the cap on Government buybacks across the Murray Darling Basin," Ms Ley said.
"It was disgraceful water politics played by Labor, Greens and most of the crossbench.
"My biggest priority for irrigation areas for the last six months has been to secure an independent review of how our communities are being impacted by zero general security water allocations through this drought.
"The (Agriculture) Minister announced this review on Wednesday and, as Kieran also believes we need full flexibility to recover water, if this outcome isn't good enough for him I suspect nothing will be."
Meanwhile, Mr Mack said despite writs for the election now being issued he would not be stepping aside as mayor until after next Tuesday.
On that day Albury's War Widows' Guild will host its Anzac Day service and Mr Mack said as its patron he had agreed to attend because the deputy mayor Amanda Cohn could not do so.
From Wednesday Mr Mack will be on leave to electioneer after having mixed candidate and councillor roles.
He said he had deliberately avoided doing media interviews in his mayoral capacity since flagging his election bid which has seen him travel 6500 kilometres around Farrer since February 22.
"I wouldn't be running if I didn't feel there was a need for change in the electorate," Mr Mack said.
"I'm quietly confident that we can deliver a positive result."
Both Mr Mack and Ms Ley were at Balranald on Thursday with the incumbent accompanying drought envoy Barnaby Joyce around western Farrer.