Wagga MP Daryl Maguire’s legacy of hard work and achievements for the electorate should still be remembered, according to those who worked closely with him.
“I’ve known him for more than 30 years, when he was business here in Wagga we had dealings with him, we were one of his customers,” Cr Conkey said.
“When he became the local member I had many dealings with him, I have had a long association with Daryl and he has left a substantial legacy to this community, he has been a hard worker for the people of Wagga.”
Cr Conkey said Mr Maguire’s last few years in parliament in particular had paid off for Wagga, with the $282 million first stage of the Wagga Base Hospital redevelopment and many other projects like the new courthouse, police station and clay target shooting centre.
“I know there’s a lot of negativity out there and criticism but I would like to concentrate on the positive achievements he has made for this city,” Cr Conkey said.
Mr Maguire’s entry into state politics back in 1999 in some ways mirrored his current exit in that it was dramatic and drawn out.
The results were close in that year’s election and Mr Maguire’s main opponent in his battle to become the next Member for Wagga Wagga, National Party candidate Jim Booth, had refused to concede.
Mr Maguire claimed victory on the night of the election, March 27, but was forced to wait 11 days for the result to be confirmed in a final vote count.
“I wanted to go in this for the people of the Wagga electorate,” Mr Maguire told the Daily Advertiser at the time.
“It has been my driving force to bring benefit to the people of the area, to achieve and have the electorate achieve, to create and environment that enhances jobs growth, better education and better health facilities.”
For the next 19 years, many people thought Mr Maguire had generally lived up to his victory night pledge.
Wagga councillor Rod Kendall said he had known Mr Maguire since about the time of his first election and had regular contact after 2004.
He said Mr Maguire had been described as a ‘nuisance’ in parliament because he would not stop until he got meetings with ministers or got his say about issues related to Wagga.
“He was able to get Wagga noticed in state parliament as an electorate that can’t be ignored,” Cr Kendall said.
“There was consistent funding for Wagga and surrounding areas in the past few years in parliament.
“I think his biggest achievement, apart from the hospital, was getting Wagga on the radar of the government.”