One year on from the election of the Abbott government and our local MPs are firmly ensconced in their new jobs.
Throsby’s Stephen Jones is now in his second term and rising through the Opposition ranks and is currently Assistant Shadow Minister for Health. Hume MP Angus Taylor, a first-termer replacing retired warhorse Alby Schultz, has taken up the campaign firmly against wind farms and the renewable energy target.
Meanwhile, the region’s state MPs are eyeing off the end-of-year before a sprint to the 2015 March state election.
Liberal Pru Goward will re-contest the seat of Goulburn, which has largely been redistributed away from the Southern Highlands but retains Moss Vale and the southern villages. She will not be challenged by Burrinjuck Nationals MP Katrina Hodgkinson, who will run in Cootamundra instead.
With the redistribution underway, Goward’s office is expected to be relocated to the city of Goulburn in coming months, leaving the Wingecarribee shire bereft of any local MP office for the first time in living memory (well, my living memory – yours might be longer).
At the election, Bowral, Mittagong and the northern villages will come under the seat of Wollondilly, presently occupied by Liberal Jai Rowell, currently Minister for Mental Health and Assistant Minister for Health. Rowell’s office is presently located in Tahmoor.
Labor’s candidate in Wollondilly is yet to be publicly announced but there should be some news on that front soon.
Fortunately, our local MPs have so far not raised the ire of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, whose current investigation has claimed more than a few scalps.
Here’s the scorecard for those playing along at home:
- seven MPs are now sitting on the cross-bench
- two resigned from Parliament
- one Premier resigned
- a minister stood down
- a Senator stood down from his ministerial role
Down the hill, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson this week avoided facing a pre-selection challenge after the matter was referred to the ALP head office.