FEDERAL MP Bob Baldwin has put his dumping from the Coalition frontbench behind him to focus on electorate issues and the upcoming redistribution of electoral boundaries.
Mr Baldwin, who recently turned 60, said it was his intention to run at the next election on his geographical patch, regardless of what happens to Paterson – a seat he has held for 17 years.
Paterson MP Bob Baldwin.
It has been widely tipped in some circles, and proposed by the Labor Party in submissions, that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) abolish the seat of Paterson as part of a NSW redistribution.
An AEC spokesman said the proposed redistribution report was expected to be released in October and a final determination made in February 2016.
“I have made it clear that I will be standing again in whatever form the seat takes,” Mr Baldwin said.
“I have just turned 60 but I feel 40 . . . I still wake up every morning chomping at the bit. I will know when my time is up [and] that is when it doesn’t become enjoyable any more.”
Mr Baldwin defended his actions on Sunday to Tweet his axing from the executive by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, saying he wasn’t told not to.
“Mr Turnbull contacted me prior to the official announcement and I wanted my followers to hear it from me first. There was no directive to keep it quiet.”
Mr Baldwin used Facebook and Twitter to say: “Just informed that I am no longer a member of the executive government. I thank the Liberal Party for the opportunity to have served”.
He said he was disappointed, but remained philosophical about losing his position as parliamentary secretary to the Minister for the Environment.
“I don’t control any numbers within my party and it is clear that rewards have gone to those who worked the numbers,” Mr Baldwin said.
“But I am not bitter [about the reshuffle] . . . there are some advantages to being a backbencher.
“It means I can speak freely on contentious issues and it also means that I can spend more time in my electorate.”
Mr Baldwin said he could not blame Tony Abbott for the Coalition’s low polling.
He said there were members who failed to communicate to the public, himself included.
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