Maguire promoted as government touts regional credentials

PROMOTION: Wagga MP Daryl Maguire says he will have the ear of Premier Barry O’Farrell as his parliamentary secretary. Picture: Les Smith

ABOUT one year out from the NSW state election, Wagga MP Daryl Maguire has been promoted as the Premier’s parliamentary secretary in a move that is being described as a win for regional areas.

Heralding that he will have direct access to Premier Barry O’Farrell, Mr Maguire indicated that he would be taking health, infrastructure and agricultural issues to the state’s highest political office.

“I think it reflects the Premier’s view that we are important. It reflects his wish to be informed and to deal with the complexities and challenges that rural people face,” he said.

The appointment comes as Nationals member and Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson challenges the Community Services Minister Pru Goward for the seat of Goulburn.

Ms Hodgkinson’s seat of Burrinjuck was abolished at the latest redistribution.

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Mr Maguire said he would be raising the issue with the Premier.

“That’s the great tragedy that occurs when National heartland seats are abolished because of the population drift to the coast,” he said.

He said he wasn’t concerned that a National Party member would ever contest him in his seat of Wagga.

While parliamentary secretary positions are considered a stepping stone for ministerial appointment, Mr Maguire was tight-lipped about his political ambitions.

“Whatever happens in the future is the future, I’m concerned with the here and now,” he said.

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