More than 80 people attended the Bingara community luncheon, hosted by Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton last Thursday week.
It was a great welcome for Gwydir Shire’s ex Mayor, who will be hoping to represent the people of Bingara after the Federal election, following the electoral redistribution which saw Bingara moved out of New England and into Parkes.
Mr Coulton told the crowd that he was overwhelmed by the number of people who came to the luncheon, as he had been by the great numbers at the launch of the book The History of Bingara Health Services 1889 – 2010, earlier in the day at the Bingara MPS, “but I shouldn’t be, because this is Bingara,” he said.
Mr Coulton explained that the Parkes electorate takes in 40% of NSW from the Queensland border down to Lake Cargelligo in the south and from Lithgow to Parkes running east to west. He said he was pleased to have Bingara in his electorate, commenting that the three years he was Mayor of Gwydir Shire were “the most exciting three years of my life and probably the most rewarding.”
Mr Coulton explained that being a local member of such a large electorate, he felt he was not as involved with the different communities and projects as he would like to be. However, he said, he has a number of staff members who help with different issues throughout the electorate, whether they occur at Lake Cargelligo or Boggabilla. Be it locusts, Veterans’ Affairs, Centrelink, Immigration or Telstra, there will be someone in his office to assist people if they need help. “Just ring my office!” he said.
With regard to Federal politics, Mr Coulton said that on the television, politics appears to involve a lot of conflict.
“The new Prime Minister and I are not close,” he said “but I have some very good friends in the Labor Party with whom I have a firm working relationship. Despite what you see on television, we do get on,” he said.
In closing, Mr Coulton commented that he has heard people in other areas talking about what a lovely place Bingara is. “It has a great reputation as a friendly town,” he said “and I am looking forward to dealing with the people of Bingara as their local member.”