MEMBER for Wagga Daryl Maguire has been entrusted with handling the state government’s responsibilities to the Anzac Centenary in its latest frontbench reshuffle.
Now the Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans and the Centenary of Anzac, Mr Maguire will oversee various milestones relating to the 100th anniversary of World War I – which he said had significant links to the region due to Wagga’s status as a major defence city and the Kangaroo March – on behalf of Premier Mike Baird.
“The Premier has asked me to ensure the state is involved in every aspect where possible,” Mr Maguire said.
“As you can imagine, there are a great number of requests made of the premier to attend functions that are all associated with the commemorations.”
Mr Maguire takes over as the parliamentary secretary responsible for veterans affairs from Charlie Lynn, an upper-house MP who retired at this election.
The new role is a natural fit for Mr Maguire, who takes an avid interest in Australia’s war history.
Regaling the exploits of some of the nation’s war heroes, including Sir Roden Cutler and Tumut’s own Victoria Cross recipient Jack Ryan, he said his interest stemmed from the profound impact Australia’s past challenges had on its present ethos.
“Its history is what makes Australia and Australians resilient – I think it exposes the true grit of a nation, whether it be 100 years ago, 70 years ago or now,” he said.
“It exposes the character of individuals and it paints a picture of the character of this country, our attitude and of our nature.”
In regards to his wider veterans affairs role, Mr Maguire said the responsibilities of that role would be fleshed out in discussions with the Premier in the coming weeks.
His previous role as parliamentary secretary to the premier for rural and regional affairs has been abolished, replaced by five new region-specific roles.
Mr Maguire said the change was an indication of a strategy shift by the re-elected Coalition government to place more focus on the regions.
While looking forward to getting stuck into his new role, Mr Maguire didn’t deny harbouring future ministerial ambitions when he spoke to the Advertiser on Thursday – so long as it didn’t detract from his ability to work for the electorate.
“You never know what the future brings, you never know,” he said.
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