Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Adrian Piccoli back in Deniliquin

Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.

ZOE MCMAUGH April 17, 2014 3:50am

Deniliquin councillors Pat Fogarty, Deputy Mayor Ash Hall, Mayor Lindsay Renwick and Jeff Shand with Adrian Piccoli, council manager economic and business development John Harvie and council general manager Des Bilske.

Deniliquin Council is hopeful it has an ally in senior state minister Adrian Piccoli following a meeting in Deniliquin yesterday.

Mr Piccoli, who is Member for Murrumbidgee and Minister for Education, stopped in on his way to Finley to meet with Deniliquin Council staff and councillors.

Designed as a re-familiarisation tour after announcing he would seek pre-selection for the new NSW seat of Murray next year, Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said council hoped Mr Piccoli would assist with local projects before then.

‘‘It was just a courtesy call from Adrian, but it was a great opportunity for us to spell out a few of the projects we’re working on,’’ Cr Renwick said.

‘‘We are going through the processes with the (state) planning departments but it would be good to have him on our side. He is a minister, albeit Minister for Education, and could be an ally for us.’’

Deniliquin Council says it has a number of projects on its agenda, with the re-opening of the Deniliquin abattoir and the proposed construction of an ethanol plant highest on the list.

Mr Piccoli told the Pastoral Times the visit was about reaquainting himself with local issues as part of his campaign to stand for the new state electorate of Murray.

His current seat of Murrumbidgee will be abolished at the March 2015 election, with the portion including his hometown of Griffith moved into the new seat of Murray.

The Murray-Darling electorate will also be abolished, with the southern half, which includes Deniliquin and district, moved into Murray.

Having represented the local area when it was part of Murrumbidgee before the previous electorate redistribution in 2007, Mr Piccoli said he does have a knowledge of the region.

However, he said he needed to refamiliarise himself with specific issues having represented a different region for two terms of Parliament.

‘‘I was sorry to lose Deniliquin at the last electorate change and I am pleased to be able to come back and speak with the council.

‘‘This time I come back as a senior minister in the NSW Government and with a senior portfolio.

‘‘For the eight years I was the local member I was in Opposition – I was still able to do a lot of good, but when you’re in government there is an added advantage.

‘‘I hope to be the local member for Deniliquin and district again.’’

Mr Piccoli said he hoped National Party members would take his experience into account when voting for pre-selection in Hay on May 24.

The pre-selection candidate will be decided by show of hands on the day.

The only confirmed Nationals member standing against Mr Piccoli is Wakool’s David Landini.

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