Community first: Clarence MP Steve Cansdell says a ministry would prevent him from spending time in the electorate if re-elected in March.
Community first: Clarence MP Steve Cansdell says a ministry would prevent him from spending time in the electorate if re-elected in March.

Cansdell won’t accept a ministry

IF re-elected at the March election Steve Cansdell says he won’t accept a ministry as it would isolate him from his constituents in the Clarence electorate.

In his eighth year as an MP, the 60-year-old Nationals incumbent said being a minister went against the reason he became the Member for Clarence.

“I have built my reputation on being a strong advocate for local issues,” he said.

“If I was a minister, people would be dealing with my chief-of-staff and not Steve Cansdell, and people voted for Steve Cansdell.”

Mr Cansdell said that when asked about his future in politics by National Party leader Andrew Stoner, he told him he did not want to be a shadow minister or minister in government.

“Number one it would take me away from the electorate all the time and number two I would be beholden to the party line rather than the stance that I take now,” he said.

“As a minister you are then also beholden to 90 other seats as well as the people of your electorate – you would be at Tamworth, you would be at Dubbo, in Sydney, you would be all over the place.”

While he would receive a significant pay rise as a minister, Mr Cansdell again said he didn’t get into politics for the money.

“The money doesn’t interest me,” he said.

“I think when you are given a position as a minister you are very beholden to party and the people who give you that position, whereas now I am beholden to my electorate because I believe that’s where I should be beholden to.”

In his position Mr Cansdell said he felt he had been able to fight tooth and nail for what he believed in.

And as Parliamentary Secretary for Community Safety over the past three years, Mr Cansdell said he had opportunities to address issues important to him.

“It puts an umbrella over the issues of police, road safety and community safety, and that is where I am very happy to be,” he said.

Mr Cansdell said any rumours he will retire after the next term, if re-elected, were false.

“I am going to run for as many terms as needed to make Clarence a better place,” he said.

“I said in the past if my health is good and I am feeling good I will keep going.

“My health at the moment, I feel, is the best it’s ever been. I am feeling good, training hard and am in a very good position in my mind.”



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