Deputy mayor looks to Canberra
Deputy mayor looks to Canberra

McNeven is ready to go

THE WILL-she-won’t-she political path of Belinda McNeven took a more focussed direction yesterday with the deputy mayor confirming she had been “talking with Labor Party locals”.

“The party has not called for nominations for the federal seat of Hinkler but I am asking local party members whether I am the representative they want to contest the seat at the next federal election because they are the people who will be voting for their candidate,” she said.

Hinkler is held by the Nationals’ Paul Neville and after last year’s redistribution Mr Neville is on a 1.5 per cent margin.

“This does not mean I have quit working as hard as I always do in my role as deputy mayor and I will do until the position comes up for re-election in April. “If it occurs that I do pursue a federal path and that I am nominated for Hinkler I will leave the deputy mayor role to be taken up by someone else. It’s good for people to get the chance to do that job.

“I will have been a councillor for 10 years on March 25 and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

The 40-year-old mother of three, who has been a member of the Labor Party for three-and-a-half years, said she has the “save the world gene”.

“I enjoy getting things done – like the Water Park, which I came up with and followed it through to the day it opened. I am proud of that.

“I’ve never thought long and hard about my political future. My initial drive to run for council was ‘Is there something I can for the community as a councillor?’

“There are important things that can only be done at federal level that I could do for this community and for Australia. I really want to see a national education curriculum because the more education you have the figures show the more likely you are to be in employment when times are tough.”

Ms McNeven said she did not want to be “pre-emptive” in talking about her chances in winning nomination for Hinkler.

“It’s all about the locals deciding am I the right person to be their representative.”

Belinda McNeven is a single mum and says her own mother “is in town” and because federal MPs know when they’re going to be away “you can plan appropriately”.

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