ACTING Prime Minister Michael McCormack has vowed to personally ensure the National Party doesn’t field a candidate against Liberal Sussan Ley in Farrer at the next federal election.
The Coalition duo were side-by-side yesterday on a tour of the Albury Entertainment Centre which is in line for an $18.5 million upgrade subject to federal and state government funding.
The National Party recently confirmed nominations for preselections had opened in Farrer despite Ms Ley being locked in as the Liberal candidate in late May.
“We’re not going to be doing that,” Mr McCormack said.
“We weren’t aware Sussan had re-nominated so I’m sure the state office will fix that up.
“She is the Coalition candidate, she is the Liberal candidate and the National Party don’t run against incumbent members.
“It has always been the situation.”
Ms Ley has been returned to the Coalition ministry in the wake of Malcolm Turnbull being toppled at Prime Minister as an assistant to Mr McCormack in his portfolio of regional development.
Mr McCormack and Ms Ley both sidestepped around the raging controversy south of the border with construction of an intersection of the Hume Freeway and McKoy Street.
Large trucks will be forced to turn off the national highway under changed conditions described as a “death-trap” by Benambra MLA Bill Tilley.
“Sure it is a national highway, but (the Victorian government) has to do the planning assessments,” Mr McCormack said.
“I will be taking advice on that and acting upon it.
“You just can’t go willy nilly making rash decisions, you have to talk to local councils, state governments and reach the best outcome for safety and productivity.”
“I will be getting on the phone to Cathy McGowan and seeing how we can resolve the situation with the best possible outcome.”
“The Commonwealth has no jurisdiction to intervene. McKoy Street is a state road,” her statement said.
“I encourage constituents with concerns to get in touch with my office.
“Where appropriate, I will make representations to the Victorian Government.”
On the same day, the federal government announced $3.6 million for a relocation of a rail crossing north of Henty which will include the re-alignment of the Olympic Way.
Mr McCormack encouraged Albury Council to apply for funding for the entertainment centre upgrade once its plans have been locked down.
“It is a facility if and when built will be like no other in this region,” he said.
“We’ve got funding programs going forward.
“These are the sorts of projects that build community capacity and these are the sorts of projects the Liberal and National government want to build.
“I look forward to having more discussions with Albury mayor Kevin Mack.”
“Once we’ve adopted the master-plan we can then consider putting funds together and applications into the state and federal governments,” he said.
In March this year, council set the wheels in motion for the upgrade.
Two options costing $16.3 million and $12.9 million were presented to council for consideration as it prepared to become an even bigger player in the events and conferences market.
Acting general manager Tracey Squire confirmed the final option to be presented to council would be a combination of the two options.
It would cost $18.5 million and be bigger than recent marquee projects, Murray Art Museum Albury and Lavington Sportsground.
Albury hosted the 2016 LambEx conference at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre and the city has also been chosen as the venue for the NSW Local Government conference in October.
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