Ley now the third longest serving in Farrer

ELECTION COVERAGE

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SUSSAN Ley is now the third longest serving member for Farrer and believes the Coalition will defeat a Labor government that has lost the confidence of voters.

Ms Ley has been in the Parliament for 12 years, having overtaken Wal Fife, who served nine, since the 2010 election.

The Albury-based member has one of the strongest grips on power in the country after achieving more than 50 per cent of the primary vote in 2010.

Her job of retaining the seat will be made easier with Labor yet to announce a candidate and independent Louise Burge declaring she won’t stand again despite attracting 11 per cent of the vote in her maiden election campaign.

Bob Katter’s Australian Party is planning to contest Farrer, but has not yet announced a candidate.

Labor’s Darren Cameron said last night the party would assess its options in coming days, but 2010 candidate Christian Emmery was an unlikely starter as he was serving overseas with the Army.

Labor candidates have traditionally been Albury-based, but consideration will be given to someone from the party-stronghold of Broken Hill, which joined the electorate in 2007.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard could make a visit to Farrer in the election lead-up for the opening of the Holbrook bypass.

Since the creation of Farrer in 1949, Liberal David Fairbairn holds the record for the most years in Parliament with 26 followed by former deputy prime minister and National Party leader Tim Fischer on 17.

Ms Ley said Labor had lost faith with voters.

“There are some really important issues facing the people of Farrer,” Ms Ley said.

“But the over-riding concern expressed to me is the lack of confidence in this government.

“If I am fortunate enough to be returned within a Coalition government the priority will be to rebuild confidence by fostering a stronger, more productive and diverse economy.

“Another thing I can assure you, under the Coalition, rural and regional Australia won’t be the political plaything it has become under Labor.”

Mrs Burge feared a backlash from voters towards independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, who helped Labor form a minority government.

“The reasons I stood as an independent were because the major political parties were making decisions not in the interests of regional Australia,” Mrs Burge said.

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