MEMBER for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy is more concerned about the impact of his predecessor’s high-profile backing of Cathy McGowan in the recent federal election than the sacking of Wangaratta Council heading into next year’s state election.
The Murray Valley electorate will be re-badged Ovens Valley and extend from Mr McCurdy’s hometown of Cobram to the ski fields of Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain.
It has picked up the entire Wangaratta area and most of the Alpine council areas, but Rutherglen, the hometown of former member Ken Jasper, is shifted to Benambra.
Mr Jasper, who was the National Party local member for more than three decades, supported independent Ms McGowan in her win against Sophie Mirabella.
Mr McCurdy said Mr Jasper’s backing of a non-Coalition candidate had not gone down well.
“It was Ken’s choice what he did, but he was the face of the electorate for 34 years,” he said.
Ovens Valley will also incorporate rural areas of Wangaratta which played a major role in the local government election result last year.
Mr McCurdy said he stood by National Party colleague and Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell’s decision to dismiss the council.
“I can honestly say 95 per cent plus of people have been supportive of the decision,” he said.
Mr McCurdy is a confirmed starter for the 2014 election and doesn’t expect the National Party to conduct a pre-selection despite changes announced yesterday.