A SENIOR Albury Liberal Party branch official has confirmed mayor Kevin Mack personally had approached him about joining the party.
Former Albury councillor and branch secretary Neville Hull yesterday said the topic was raised when he and Cr Mack were at a recent Rotary function.
Mr Hull said he had since raised the mayor’s intention at a branch meeting where Mr Aplin and his electorate officer Bruce Holmes were both present.
The stunning admission comes after Mr Aplin last Friday claimed Cr Mack was using recent criticism as a platform to run for Labor at the NSW election.
Mr Hull said he was surprised by Mr Aplin’s outburst and his phone had rung hot since.
“Knocking your local member is not going to get you anywhere,” Mr Hull said.
“There is a real personality clash and you can’t take that out of the equation.
“(Mr Aplin) doesn’t feel threatened, but the way Mack is going about it is not the way to do things.
“In politics, if you grease the hand, you will get more results.”
Mr Hull said Indigo mayor Bernard Gaffney’s approach to a meeting with deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss was a more suitable way of getting action.
“It is what you want to see,” said Mr Hull, who confirmed Mr Aplin had been pre-selected for Albury for next year’s election as the only nomination.
Cr Mack said he sat on the same table as Mr Hull at the Rotary function and joining the Liberals was raised, but he was still waiting for a nomination form.
But Mr Aplin said yesterday he wasn’t aware of Cr Mack’s intentions.
“I’ve got no knowledge of what you’ve just raised,” he said.
“In terms of political affiliations, I would have no idea whatsoever.”
Meanwhile, Albury deputy mayor Henk van de Ven accused Mr Aplin of playing the man on the budget fallout.
“Kevin Mack is doing what he is supposed to be doing and advocating for Albury,” he said.
“If you were to have a straw poll today on who would do a better job for Albury at state level, Kevin Mack or Greg Aplin, I would say Kevin Mack would win hands down.
“Maybe Greg is feeling a bit vulnerable with what happened in Indi last year.”
Cr van de Ven said Cr Mack had adopted a totally different style to former mayor Alice Glachan, who is from a well-known Liberal Party family.
“The previous mayor of Albury is not going to rock the boat and publicly or privately have a crack at Greg,” he said.