Oakeshott offended by local MP

MEMBER for Clarence Steve Cansdell’s critical comments have attracted the ire of one of the nation’s best-known independent politicians, Federal member for Lyne Rob Oakeshott.

“I am really surprised by Mr Steve Cansdell’s derogatory comments attacking my representation, as I have never had a cross word with him, nor heard a cross word from him, until now,” Mr Oakeshott said of Mr Cansdell’s release last Friday which claimed independents could not deliver for regional NSW.

Mr Cansdell singled out Mr Oakeshott saying the Port-Macquarie-based ‘messiah’ had achieved little for his electorate.

Last Friday, the same day as Mr Cansdell’s attack, Mr Oakeshot announced a $110- million upgrade for Port Macquarie hospital.

“Remember, until two years ago the National Party had always represented this electorate, and it continues to try and convince people that by comparison, they can do more. Well, why didn’t they in my area when they had the chance, even when the Deputy Prime Minister – the highest possible National Party position – represented the seat? Their history of inaction is telling,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“This hospital money in Port Macquarie has been possible because of the $1.8- billion regional round of the Health and Hospital Fund that was negotiated thanks to the support of those who voted Independent at the most recent Federal election.

“By 30% of Australia’s population finally valuing their vote, and forcing the major parties to negotiate with regional Australia, we have now successfully achieved $9.9- billion of programs and services that are long overdue.

“I will work with whoever is elected in the area to try and get more and better out of all Governments for the North Coast. I hope Steve Cansdell, Richie Williamson and all candidates commit to doing likewise. The North Coast should come before party politics after all.”

Independent candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson also hit back at Mr Cansdell saying it was he who should be made accountable for a ‘lacklustre’ performance in opposition compared with those in other electorates.

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