Mark Coulton farewells the Mid-Western Region region

Federal member for Parkes, Mark Coulton and Nationals candidate for the seat of Calare, Andrew Gee in Mudgee last week.
Federal member for Parkes, Mark Coulton and Nationals candidate for the seat of Calare, Andrew Gee in Mudgee last week.

Mark Coulton has finalised his official duties as the Mid-Western Region’s federal member after nine years. 

Electoral boundary changes that come into effect from the July 2 election mean the region, including Mudgee, Gulgong, Kandos, Rylstone and Bylong will now sit within Calare. 

The redistributed Parkes electorate will take in half the state including Gunnedah, Broken Hill and Wilcannia. 

“I was disappointed to lose the region,” federal member for Parkes, Mr Coulton said. 

“This job is all about relationships and until people actually know you, you can’t do your job properly. People have got to feel comfortable enough that they can come to you with their problems and know that they’re going to get a fair hearing and at least a result.”

He said his office will assist Mid-Western Region residents with pressing problems up until the election. 

Of his achievements for the region including the fight for Gulgong hospital and federal funding for Glen Willow, Mr Coulton said his proudest are often the unpublicised ones. 

“We’ve had quite a bit of success with federal funding for bridges and black spots for dangerous parts of roads,” Mr Coulton said. 

“Some of the things I am proud of are not public matters. I’ve been able to assist individuals with migration issues, personal issues with Centrelink. 

“They’re the sort of things you get the most pride out of. Those people that we’ve got to know through quite protracted personal battles, they’re the relationships I probably value the most.”

Standing alongside Mr Coulton in the battle for the Gulgong Hospital in 2010, was state member for Orange Andrew Gee who also lost the region to a redistribution in 2013. 

Mr Gee will now run for the federal seat of Calare after he was preselected as the National Party candidate last month. 

If elected, Mr Gee has his sights set on a number of projects for the region including a crossing at Dixons Long Point between Orange and Mudgee.  

“I’ve been lobbying the State Minister Duncan Gay a good deal about that project in recent times and that’s something I’d like to see some movement on,” Mr Gee said. 

“I’d also like to see some federal assistance for the Bells Line of road … and would like to assist the Mid-Western Regional Council in achieving some funding for the Glen Willow sporting precinct.”

Mr Gee will replace John Cobb as the Nationals candidate following Mr Cobb’s retirement last month.