Liberals back Barilaro '100 per cent'

JOHN Barilaro says the NSW Liberal Party is "100 per cent behind the Nationals in the Monaro" after he was again preselected to represent the seat for the Coalition at next year's state election.

The announcement comes at a time of some tension between the Coalition partners after Mr Barilaro's Nationals colleague Katrina Hodgkinson announced last week that she will contest the seat of Goulburn against sitting Liberal member Pru Goward at the coming election. Ms Hodgkinson's current seat of Burrinjuck is soon to be redistributed out of existence by a NSW Electoral Commission boundary revision.

That prompted country vice-president of the Liberals, Hollie Hughes, to lobby the Liberals to fire-back and run candidates in Nationals-held seats, including in Monaro.

However Mr Barilaro said it wouldn't come to that.

"I have been assured from the highest levels of the Coalition that the Liberals will not run a candidate in the Monaro; the Liberal Party is 100 per cent behind the Nationals in the Monaro," he said.

"If Labor choses to run a candidate they will be facing John Barilaro, the Nationals Member and the Nationals candidate at the 2015 election as the only Coalition candidate."

However Mr Barilaro wouldn't be drawn as to whether he supported Katrina Hodgkinson's campaign for Goulburn

"This is an untidy and unfortunate boundary change caused by the NSW Electoral Commission," he said.

"Given that 63 per cent of Katrina Hodgkinson's electorate will be in the seat of Goulburn at the next election, she has a commitment to the community that knows and trusts her.

"Equally, as the Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward has every right to seek to continue to serve her community.

"I am confident that this will be resolved very soon."

Meanwhile, former Member for Monaro and current Labor MLC Steve Whan told The Queanbeyan Age he was still considering whether he'd have another go at representing Monaro in the lower house. Mr Whan still has a guaranteed income as member of the upper house until 2019 when his term expires.

"I haven't actually finally made my mind up yet. It's something where in the next couple of months I'll need to decide whether I do have another go," he said.

And while he said he was enjoying his role in the upper house and as shadow minister for primary industries, Mr Whan said he missed the community contact that comes with being a local member.

"I certainly miss a lot of the local activity. I miss the local events and a lot of the contact I had with local constituents there," he said.

The NSW election will be held on Saturday, March 28 next year.

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