FORMER Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott has announced plans to contest the seat of Cowper at the next election.
Mr Oakeshott attempted a political comeback with a three-week Cowper campaign leading up to the July federal election.
The former independent MP confirmed he would contest the seat next time around to “refresh Cowper”.
“I think the three-week campaign was an effort to make it a marginal seat and to keep our region on the radar of politics nationally,” he said.
“I think we have done that and I think the next step now is for a more significant change and to give many people who are wanting to see greater community engagement and greater regional growth, and more results within the region, to give them a voice over the next couple of years.”
Mr Oakeshott said there would be formal and informal points of engagement and encouragement for the network to be active, to expand and to be vocal.
He said we would see an ever widening network to keep the politics honest and push for a change in the way representation happened within the region.
Mr Oakeshott is considering the future of his medical degree.
“The priority number one is family, priority number two is feeding the family and priority number three is electoral politics and lifelong learning,” he said.
“That combination is what defines me as a person.”
Luke Hartsuyker retained the seat of Cowper in the face of a challenge from the former independent in the July federal election.
The Cowper MP has since been elevated to the ministry as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Hartsuyker said any Australian citizen could run for elected office.
“I certainly intend to run again and stand for preselection for the National Party for the seat of Cowper in the next election,” he said.
That would make it Mr Hartsuyker’s seventh election campaign in Cowper.
“In doing so, I’m happy to be judged on my efforts of this three-year term,” he said.
Mr Hartsuyker said Mr Oakeshott was potentially running a three-year campaign and not a three-week campaign but he was not surprised at all.
“We will see what happens on polling day in a few years’ time,” he said.
“I will be working in the way I always do, working to deliver for the people of Cowper, working to fulfil my ministerial responsibilities and I’m happy to be judged on that.”
The MP said his close working relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce had to be good for the electorate.