Wagga MP Joe McGirr has committed to running again as an independent despite rumours and a report on the ABC.
“I did not put my hand up to take on this role for just a few months,” Dr McGirr told The Daily Advertiser.
“So I would like to put everyone’s mind at ease and say I absolutely intend to seek the community's support to continue as the Independent Member for Wagga Wagga.”
The NSW election is in March, sending Wagga voters back to the polls less than seven months after the byelection brought about by Liberal MP Daryl Maguire’s resignation over an ICAC hearing.
On Monday, ABC Riverina stated that Dr McGirr had “refuse(d) to say whether he’ll stand in next year’s state election” during an interview.
“People want their representatives to represent them, they want them on the job, and the party politics, the game playing has become a bit of a distraction,” Dr McGirr told the ABC.
“So, it’s a reminder that I’m elected to do a job; people expect me to do that job
“They don’t want me playing games with the job, they just want me to do that job.”
Dr McGirr said after the radio interview that he had tried to avoid engaging with rumours about this political future.
“Last week I was told rumours were circulating about my plans regarding next year’s election. I have given no reason for anyone to doubt my intent to run again,” Dr McGirr said.
“The timing of the speculation was curious and quite frankly, this is the sort of thing major parties do to foster doubt. I have no intention of engaging in such political games.
“I am not normally in the business of responding to rumours and so, in an interview last week I stressed that my focus was instead on doing the job I was elected to do; serving the needs of my electorate and being residents’ voice in parliament.”
Dr McGirr’s campaign for Wagga and his future plans have been the subject of rumour since the early days of the byelection.
Dr McGirr was accused by Labor supporters on Facebook of helping the Liberals by not preferencing other parties on his how-to-vote cards.
There was also speculation, absent of any evidence, that Dr McGirr would join the National Party after taking his seat in Parliament.
The National Party closed its preselection nominations for Wagga on Friday.
While you’re with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to you inbox each day at 6am from the Daily Advertiser? To make sure you’re up to date with all the Wagga news sign up here.