Former Dubbo mayor Mathew Dickerson has confirmed he will stand as an independent candidate for the seat of Dubbo at the 2019 NSW election.
Mr Dickerson said consultation with his family was what convinced him to take the plunge, after considering nominating for almost two years.
His announcement came 10 months and one day before the election, on March 23, 2019 and Mr Dickerson said he would use that time talking to people across the entire electorate
He said he was under no illusions about the task ahead of him, running against incumbent Nationals MP Troy Grant.
“Make no mistakes about it, this is going to be a very difficult task. You have a sitting member who had a 60 per cent primary vote at the last election,” Mr Dickerson said.
“This is not going to easy and if I was a betting man I wouldn’t be backing myself in but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it the best possible go I can.
“Over the next 10 months and one day I will look forward to getting out everywhere in the electorate.”
Mr Dickerson said he never considered running for a party, and took the same philosophy as he did when running for local government.
“When I stood for council I said I would rather stand as an independent and miss out than stand as part of a group or a ticket and be elected,” he said.
“I’ve been consistent and I’m not just changing with the wind to suit what’s best for me.”
Mr Dickerson said he didn’t think Mr Grant was providing the electorate with a strong enough voice in Sydney and said Dubbo needed someone who would push the electorate forward.
He said he didn’t see being an independent as a disadvantage, citing as people Tony McGrane and Dawn Fardell who had been effective without party backing.
“I remember Dawn Fardell in 2009 opened up a huge $6 million expansion of the TAFE. She wasn't in power but she brought that money to Dubbo and then had the privilege of opening it,” he said.
“Tony McGrane has been credited with things like Charles Sturt University being here in Dubbo.
“One of the things about being an independent is you are never in government, but you are never in opposition.”