GREG Aplin was the worst member the electorate of Albury has had and should resign, his former Labor Party election rival Darren Cameron said yesterday.
Cr Cameron blasted the Liberal MP after a budget blunder in which $3.3 million was incorrectly assigned to refurbish state government office buildings in Albury.
“Any member who would allow $3.3 million to be ripped out of his seat after it had been promised and then try to pass it off as a mistake in a press release late on a Thursday night before a long weekend, is an absolute disgrace,” Cr Cameron said.
In an email at 6pm on Thursday, Mr Aplin said the budget entry had mistakenly applied the $3.3 million to Albury when it was intended for government office electrical upgrades across the state.
A spokeswoman for the Finance and Services Department said the funding was “incorrectly identified in internal departmental documents” as allocated for Albury, rather than the whole of NSW. She apologised to Mr Aplin and the electorate “for the confusion caused”.
But former Labor party candidate and Albury councillor Darren Cameron said that was not good enough.
Cr Cameron believed it was not a mistake but a cost-cutting exercise by the NSW government in a “safe Liberal seat”.
“It’s a cut, pure and simple,” he said.
“Greg has a track record now of being rolled by his party on financial resources for this seat.
“He is the worst member for Albury in the history of the seat.”
Cr Cameron called on Mr Aplin to resign because he had broken a promise to the Albury electorate.
“He should resign and let someone like Alice Glachan have a go,” he said.
But Mr Aplin said he would not resign.
“Not when I’ve got a job to do,” he said.
He said Cr Cameron, who did not rule out standing at the next election, was staging an “opportunistic grandstand”.
“For someone who didn’t manage to get the job, that’s sour grapes on his part,” he said.
“Darren Cameron has formerly been supportive and made some fairly appreciative comments, I’d rather hear from that Darren Cameron than this one.”
Mr Aplin said he would seek more government funds to redress the error.
It is not known how much of the $3.3 million Albury could expect to receive once it was divided across NSW.