The bitter political rivalry between Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison and Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald has ratcheted up another notch, with the two clashing at the installation of Maitland’s first Return and Earn vending machine on Wednesday morning.
The fiery encounter at Thornton BP was captured in a series of videos posted on social media by Ms Aitchison.
In one of the videos Mr MacDonald can be heard saying “you’re so negative (about Return and Earn)” before calling Ms Aitchison “full of s—".
So I went to BP Thornton as I had heard a reverse vending machine was being installed today and this happened ... and then Mr MacDonald asked me if I was crashing and told me I was full of “S*?%#t!”#moregoodnewsruinedbyScotMacdonald#NotInvitedAgainpic.twitter.com/z3x3WXTNnE— Jenny Aitchison (@jenny_aitchison) February 27, 2018
Ms Aitchison replied, “I’m actually advocating for my community, I’m not going to have a fight with you, it’s really unpleasant”.
The spat continued on Twitter, with Mr MacDonald calling Ms Aitchison “The selfie stick MP”.
Ms Aitchison hit back saying: “No need for your politicisation or your swearing. I wish (NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian) would get a Minister for the Hunter who is respectful of our community and their locally elected MP”.
Mr MacDonald said later on Wednesday he was “really happy” that Maitland was finally getting a machine, and accused Ms Aitchison of being “negative towards (the scheme) for purely political reasons”.
“I was annoyed with it and I think other people are getting annoyed with it,” he said.
“I expressed that to Jenny and hopefully she takes that on board.”
Ms Aitchison also accused Mr MacDonald of trying to keep the launch of the machine “secret” by not inviting her.
Mr MacDonald refuted that, saying “I don’t determine when and where they get rolled out, that’s up to the contractor”, but added “I’m certainly not keen on having someone who’s relentlessly negative and who I fear is discouraging the community from using it.”
The clash overshadowed Maitland finally getting a Return and Earn reverse vending machine.
The Environmental Protection Authority promised in January that Maitland would get a machine the following month.
The region has previously had a torrid time with the roll-out of the container deposit scheme.
Two businesses participating in over-the-counter collection pulled out citing issues with trash collection by network operators TOMRA Cleanaway, while a vending machine at Kurri golf club shut down following noise complaints.
Installation will take place at the Thornton BP on Wednesday, with the vending machine expected to be up and running in the next two days, according to Mr MacDonald.
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