Greg Aplin holidays in France as Barry O’Farrell quits

GREG Aplin won’t be there when Liberal MPs hold a party room vote to elect a new party leader and premier of NSW.

The member for Albury since 2006 is on leave in France visiting his daughter, Kathryn, who was recently engaged.

Mr Aplin is not due back until next Thursday, with a vote on the leadership set to be held at 3pm today as shellshocked MPs gather in Sydney.

He couldn’t be contacted for comment last night but his electorate officer, Bruce Holmes, confirmed the MP was overseas and doubted he would cut short his holiday to return home.

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Treasurer Mike Baird and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian are being touted as potential replacements for Mr O’Farrell, who as Premier made only one visit to Albury, for an ill-fated cabinet meeting in 2012.

The event was cut short when planes bringing most ministers were delayed for hours by fog.

Mr Baird and Ms Berejiklian also made the trip, but haven’t been back to Albury in any official capacity.

The Treasurer previously visited Albury in the lead-up to the 2011 election, but made no specific promises for Mr Aplin’s electorate.

Ms Berejiklian’s previous visit was three years earlier in the role of shadow transport minister when she travelled by train from Sydney to gain an insight into regional travellers’ experiences.

Former Labor Party parliamentary candidate Darren Cameron urged Mr Aplin to stand for premier in the wake of Barry O’Farrell’s departure.

“It was 1941 since a member for Albury (Alexander Mair) was both the local member and premier,” Mr Cameron said.

“It is high time that Sydney was reminded the electorate of Albury was part of NSW.

“Clearly the Liberals are victims of their own born-to-rule mentality.

“They are happy to point the finger at others over standards of behaviour and conduct but they exempt themselves from the same standards.”

Mr Aplin held various shadow portfolios in opposition, but has been overlooked for cabinet roles in government.

The next NSW state election is on March 28.

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