Member for Murray-Darling John Williams will contest a National Party pre-selection process in coming weeks in effort to represent western NSW in the Upper House.ZOE MCMAUGH March 28, 2014 4:13am
Member for Murray-Darling John Williams has confirmed he will not re-stand as a local member at the next state election — not in the newly formed Barwon or Murray electorates.
He will instead contest a National Party pre-selection process in coming weeks in effort to represent western NSW in the Upper House.
His decision follows electorate boundary changes that will come into effect after the 2015 election.
‘‘I elected not to contest sitting members who are both ministers and have much more to offer the electorates,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘I have instead elected to run in pre-selection for the Upper House to be held in early April.’’
Murray-Darling and Murrumbidgee electorates are being abolished, with a new electorate of Murray being formed and the rest of Murray-Darling transferred into the Barwon electorate.
Mr Williams’ decision makes way for Member for Murrumbidgee Adrian Piccoli and Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries, both National Party representatives and front bench ministers in the O’Farrell Government, to contest the new seats of Murray and Barwon respectively.
‘‘I see my role in the Upper House as assisting those two ministers with their electorates,’’ said Mr Williams, who resides in Broken Hill which is now a part of Barwon.
‘‘Being mindful that they are ministers and that role does take them away from the electorate, I would also be available to represent them if they are not available.
‘‘I would cover the area I have been representing and further north.
‘‘From the Upper House I can still keep an eye on issues affecting Murray-Darling, including the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and ensuring that agreement is honoured.
‘‘People will still see me around Deniliquin if Adrian needs me.’’
Mr Williams will be up against eight National Party pre-selection candidates, each vying for the three ‘‘winnable’’ positions in the NSW Legislative Council.
Mr Williams said if unsuccessful in his attempt to be pre-selected he would be ‘‘out of a job’’.
‘‘It’s either the Upper House or nothing,’’ he said.
The new electorate of Murray takes in parts of Murray-Darling and Murrumbidgee, including Mr Piccoli’s home town of Griffith.
Mr Piccoli, the NSW Minister for Education, confirmed with the Pastoral Times he had nominated for pre-selection for Murray.
‘‘I live in the new seat of Murray and it does pick up some of the towns that were in my former electorate of Murrumbidgee, including Deniliquin,’’ Mr Piccoli said.
‘‘I am familiar with the area. I’d like to think my chances (of being selected) are pretty good, but we are a democratic party and anyone can nominate.
‘‘I never take it for granted and I have to work hard – no one gets a free ride in The Nationals.’’
The Murray electorate incorporates Wentworth, Balranald, Carrathool, Hay, Griffith, Leeton, Murrumbidgee, Conargo, Wakool, Berrigan, Murray and Deniliquin council areas.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
A sophisticated hydroponic cannabis system was discovered by police at the Victoria Hotel last week.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.