THE Liberal Party’s Greg Aplin has declared he will attempt to become Albury’s longest-serving NSW MP by standing at the next election.
The former television station manager yesterday stated his intention clearly after declining to tell The Border Mail whether he would be a starter in the March 2019 state poll.
“At this point in time I’ve every intention of running at the next election,” Mr Aplin told a media conference.
The vow came after Albury mayor Kevin Mack told The Border Mail he planned to contest the state election as an independent “at this point”.
Asked about Cr Mack standing, Mr Aplin said he was not surprised.
Asked if Cr Mack had a “hope in hell”, Mr Aplin replied: “You’d have to ask him about that.
“I look at each election as a fresh opportunity and a range of people put themselves up, as you’ve seen in the past and that’s what democracy is all about.
“It offers people the opportunity to stand and Kevin Mack will be one of many that do so.”
It would not be the first time as incumbent that Mr Aplin faced a challenge from an Albury councillor.
In the 2011 poll, Paul Wareham vied with him and drew 14.6 per cent of the vote, slightly less than Labor candidate Darren Cameron.
Asked why he sought to contest, what would be his fifth Albury ballot after being first elected in 2003, Mr Aplin said “he wanted to make a difference”.
“We have some major projects underway at the moment, as you’re well aware, which were discussed last week and I’d like to see them continued and in fact expand,” he said.
Mr Aplin was referring to NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian’s visit last week, which saw her tour the Ettamogah Rail Hub and Mercy Health where a mental health centre will be created.
Asked to nominate a particular project close to his heart, Mr Aplin declined.
The father of four holds the seat of Albury, which extends from Jerilderie in the west to Tumbarumba in the east, by a 13.2 per cent margin.
If Mr Aplin succeeds in the 2019 poll he will become Albury’s longest-serving state MP surpassing the record of Doug Padman.
Mr Padman was Albury’s MLA from 1947 to 1965 after having been a mayor of the city during World War II.