Battle for forgotten Maclean

AS I was pounding the pavement asking people of Maclean, “Is Maclean the forgotten town of the Cowper electorate”, the incumbent member, The Nationals Luke Hartsuyker and his travelling campaign road show, tried to spoil the moment.

But despite this coincidental injunction by Mr Hartsuyker, perched on his advertising trailer with megaphone in hand, the question still needed to be asked.

Mr Hartsuyker said during the course of the election campaign he has visited Maclean regularly, but would not say how many times he had visited.

“I always call into Maclean on a regular basis, it is an important part of the Cowper electorate,” he said.

“I am here today and I will be here tomorrow, and next week to talk with my constituents.”

Also cagey about Coalition promises specifically for Maclean, Mr Hartsuyker said he couldn’t reveal if any shadow ministers would join him in Maclean.

“Our policies will be revealed in due course,” he said.

“Maclean hasn’t been forgotten by me. Maclean may have been forgotten by other candidates, but people know I am here regularly,’ he said.

Labor’s candidate for Cowper, Paul Sekfy, said he can’t promise any ministers will join him in Maclean, but he will be visiting the town several times to meet people and door-knock.

“I have visited Maclean twice during the campaign so far and I will be there today and I am coming back on Tuesday for the chamber of commerce and council meetings,” he said.

Unlike his opponents, Mr Sekfy said he could guarantee under a Labor Government houses and businesses of Maclean and Gulmarrad would receive world class broadband services.

“I will also work so that Maclean hospital maintains viable, appropriate and safe services for the people of Maclean within the proposed health network,” he said.

Greens candidate for Page, Dominic King, said he had been campaigning across the electorate, including Maclean.

“We came to Maclean once so far during the campaign, and we are trying to organise a forum with the elders in Maclean next week,” he said.

“We came up and had a meeting on the Pacific Highway with Cowper candidate Jeff Johnson, and we did a bit of a street walk.”

With popularity of The Greens seemingly growing exponentially, Mr King said it would be difficult for a senior member of the party to visit Maclean.

“We had Lee Rhiannon at Woolgoolga last week, but I don’t think there will be anyone else,” he said.

“There has been such a change in interest in the Greens that our leader Bob Brown has really been committed with lots of things during the campaign.”

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