WODONGA has a new friend in high places, says Bill Tilley.
The member for Benambra said newly annointed Victorian Premier Denis Napthine is a fan of the North East with an intimate knowledge of the challenges facing the region and in particular Wodonga.
He also launched Mr Tilley’s re-election campaign in 2010.
Dr Napthine was thrown into the key role after the resignation of Ted Baillieu late Wednesday night.
Yesterday, Mr Tilley hosed down speculation his visit to the then-premier’s office earlier in the day had played any part in leadership change.
“That conversation was confidential but I can say it was around some concerns I heard at question time,” he said.
“I wanted to address those concerns and I came away happy with the response.”
Mr Tilley said Dr Napthine was well versed with plans for Wodonga’s CBD makeover.
In December, the then- regional cities minister launched the multimillion-dollar plans for the re-alignment of Elgin Boulevard that will create saleable commercial blocks of land on the old railway corridor.
Almost 12 months ago he called on Wodonga Council to show some compassion and slash its rates.
“This is someone who is very familiar with our region,” Mr Tilley said.
“He has held the portfolio for regional cities and minister for racing so he knows the issues we face in North East Victoria, particularly Benambra.
“He has always been a strong advocate around Wodonga’s CBD and I have absolute confidence that he is 100 per cent behind getting a fair deal for our part of Victoria.”
Mr Tilley, deposed from his parliamentary secretary role in the same scandal that ultimately overwhelmed Mr Baillieu, said he still aspired to higher office.