Published: 08 December 2016

BLAIR RICHARDS, State Political Reporter, Hobart Mercury - December 5, 2016 

INDEPENDENT  MLC Ruth Forrest is set to face her first election in 12 years after confirmation a long-serving North West mayor will throw his hat in the ring.

 

Circular Head Mayor Darryl Quilliam, a councillor for 30 years, said he would run as an independent after being encouraged to stand by community members.

Cr Quilliam said he would campaign on issues including jobs and training opportunities, supporting agriculture, forestry and tourism.

He is also in favour of ­reopening four-wheel-drive tracks in the Arthur-Pieman conservation area.

“What I will really be pushing hard for is jobs for our young people, and training oppor­tunities,” he said.

“I’ve always lived here and I always intend to and I want to support local people.”

Voters in the Legislative Council divisions of Murchison, Rumney and Launceston will go to the polls in May.

All three seats are held by independents.

No election was held in Murchison in 2011 because Ms Forrest ran unopposed.

She has nothing to fear from Labor with state secretary Stuart Benson confirming the party would not run a candidate against her.

Labor has announced union official Sarah Lovell will run in Rumney and it also plans to field a candidate against Launceston MLC Rosemary Armitage.

“We do these things on a case-by-case basis, we have taken the view the opportunity for Labor is in Rumney and Launceston,” Mr Benson said.

However, Liberal Party state director Sam McQuestin did not rule running a candidate against Ms Forrest or in the other two Legislative Council seats up next year.

“No decision has been made,” Mr McQuestin said.

 

Confirming her intention to run for a third six-year term, Ms Forrest said she welcomed Cr Quilliam’s intention to run.

“It’s important for democracy to challenge and test ideas,” she said.

She said she was keen to continue, both to scrutinise government reforms and to represent her region.

“I believe I’ve worked very hard and I still have a lot of things I’d like to continue, particularly education reform,” Ms Forrest said.

“There’s still a number of things I really want to see through.”

 

The division of Murchison takes in Circular Head, King Island, Waratah-Wynyard and the West Coast.

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