Parties prepare for election

CANDIDATES who ran for the Federal seat of Parkes in the 2010 election have mixed thoughts on Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s early announcement of the September polling day.

But current Member for Parkes Mark Coulton,  and Dubbo Labor affiliates Andrew Brooks and Joe Knagge all agreed it was an interesting political play.

“I’m pleased it’s been announced, it’ll be more orderly for the year,” Mr Coulton said.

“It’s always good to know when it’s going to be held, for the campaign,” Mr Knagge said.

“I’m a bit surprised like most people,” Mr Brooks said.

Mr Coulton, excited to be running again on behalf of the Nationals, was reluctant to speak about his confidence in the upcoming battle but said the overall management of the economy was key.

“When the country is doing well, people have confidence and they’re looking for decisions to progress with work, buying a house, etc,” he said.

“We’ll look to repeal the carbon tax and mining tax, which have importance in this electorate.

“Certainly, people I’ve had conversations with are looking for that.”

Mr Coulton’s campaign will begin in July or August, which he said would have similar funds to that of his successful 2010 run.

Labor’s 2010 candidate Andrew Brooks said the party had not yet endorsed a candidate for the seat, but declined to make further comments.

“At this stage, I’m undecided if I’ll return,” he said.

Fellow affiliate Joe Knagge, president of the Parkes Federal Electorate Council, said their policies were already in place nationally.

“Education is the key policy and something we’ll definitely focus on, particularly the Gonski Review and addressing issues from that,” he said.

“Parkes falls within most electorates in Australia where the PM has a vision she’s spelt out for the last two years.”

Moree independent Mick Colless said there had been no discussion there about possible candidates around town as he told the Daily Liberal he would not be running again.

“Not a chance in hell,” he said.

“I’d like to, but no, I don’t have the money.

“The Nationals have been around for donkey’s years, they’ll do what they do - it’s safe for them because they have the votes.”

“I have high regard for Mark (Coulton), but it’s an utter disgrace in Canberra, what a joke... I wouldn’t want to be around that.”

Matt Parmeter of the Australian Greens did not comment on the announcement or if he would run again but said they would fill a candidate.

“We’ll have a pre-selection process in the coming months,” he said. “We’re looking for a close contest.”

Wee Waa independent John Clements did not return the Daily Liberal’s calls by the time of going to print.

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