Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Sykes pulls pin on political career

After almost 12 years in politics State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has called it a day.

KAITLIN THALS January 8, 2014 4:20am

After almost 12 years in politics State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has called it a day.

State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has announced he will not be contesting his seat at November’s Victorian State Election.

The National Party of Australia member told the Ensign last Wednesday that after almost 12 years in politics, it was time to hand over the reins.

A letter was distributed to National Party members and staff last night informing them of his decision.

The announcement comes after an electoral boundaries shake-up, with the Electoral Boundaries Commission releasing its final, binding redistribution of electoral boundaries last October.

Dr Sykes said one of the shortfalls was that the Benalla electorate was abolished.

However, he said that he would continue to work hard to service the Benalla electorate until the election, and there were many projects that would come to fruition during this time.

He will also play a significant role in the transition of National MPs into their new electorates, that were once part of the Benalla electorate.

Dr Sykes said he would also throw his ‘‘full support’’ behind the next National Party candidate, to win the seat of Euroa at this year’s election.

‘‘I’ve given it my absolute best shot, I think it’s time for someone else to come in and build on the work that my staff and I have been able to achieve,’’ Dr Sykes said last Wednesday.

‘‘It’s been on my mind for quite some time, but once I make it public then that’s a clear message and it will be a load off my mind in one sense.

‘‘It’s really just a step down a long road, my two key issues are focusing on continuing to service the electorate for 11 months, my staff and I, and secondly, throwing my full support behind whoever is preselected by the Nationals to win the seat of Euroa — we don’t expect that to be an easy task.’’

For full story see this week’s Ensign.

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