THE NSW Nationals went to ground yesterday as speculation mounts that Primary Industries minister Katrina Hodgkinson will back down from a challenge for the seat of Goulburn.
It’s believed Ms Hodgkinson, who declared her intention to run against family and community services minister Pru Goward in February, will instead stand for the newly created seat of Cootamundra.
Sources have told The Daily Advertiser if Ms Hodgkinson had continued her challenge she would have been stripped of her two ministerial portfolios.
A spokesman for the NSW Nationals’ director Niall Blair declined to comment on the issue but indicated it was still being worked through by the party, while a representative of the Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said it was a matter for the party.
Temora mayor Rick Firman had earlier floated his intention to seek a preselection for the newly established seat of Cootamundra, but he withdrew his interest on Thursday.
Mr Firman denied his decision not to contest the preselection had anything to do with Ms Hodgkinson eyeing the seat of Cootamundra instead of Goulburn.
“I found out about this last night (Thursday), I had no idea,” Mr Firman said.
“I was not aware at all of Katrina’s move when I made my decision.
“I had personally made approaches to Katrina late last year to stand for Cootamundra,” he said.
Mr Firman said he understood the difficult decision Ms Hodgkinson had to make after her seat of Burrinjuck was abolished.
“Goulburn is her home, her family has been there for five generations,” Mr Firman said.
“Katrina will do whatever is in the best interests of her electorate and the Nationals.”
While still interested in state politics, Mr Firman said he was still happy to serve the Temora community.
“I love what I’m doing, I look forward to working with whoever is elected to Cootamundra,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.