Five men have nominated to stand for the seat of Parkes, which is now Gwydir Shire’s electorate.
The candidates are Nationals Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton who is seeking re-election, Andrew Brooks who is standing for the Labor Party, Matt Parmenter who is standing for the Greens, Mick Colless and John Clements who are both standing as Independents.
Mark Coulton recently hosted a lunch at the Imperial Hotel to meet with Bingara people and to welcome them to the electorate of Parkes. Mr Coulton told guests that he had greatly enjoyed the last three years, working as the Member for Parkes, which presented many challenges not least being the immense size of the electorate.
At another meeting at Rocky Creek, Mr Coulton said that he was very proud to be part of the Nationals team that blocked the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme which would have seriously affected regional Australia.
Andrew Brooks has recently completed an Arts degree in Sydney before returning to his home area of Dubbo. He is concerned about youth issues and wants to see young people staying in rural areas to help their local communities.
Matt Parmenter contested the 2007 election in the seat of Parkes and is running again in this election. Mr Parmenter is a civil engineer whose area of expertise is farm water systems, working with the Soil Conservation Service at Condobolin before taking a job with the NSW Office of Water in Dubbo.
Mick Colless owns a small business in Moree and lives in Pallamallawa. One of his major areas of concern is to see people move to the region from Sydney. Mr
Colless has worked in a number of different areas in his life and believes he is well qualified to relate to ordinary people.
John Clements is a Narrabri Shire Councillor and a former Executive Officer of Namoi Water. Mr Clements has also worked with Independent Member for NewEngland, Tony Windsor which he believes places him in good stead to represent the people of Parkes.
“Working for Independents, I have learnt the practice and processes of government and politics. I have worked on health issues and I have been engaged on many State rail and road issues at both a funding and policy level,” he said.
No doubt the candidates will have more opportunities to promote what they stand for leading up to the election. The Advocate will continue to report on the candidates in the weeks leading up to August 21.