Speculation over former Dubbo Mayor Mathew Dickerson standing for the state election representing the National Party has been downplayed.
“I feel special that people have got nothing better to do,” Mr Dickerson told Dubbo Photo News. “I can categorically tell you that no decision has been made about anything I might do in the future.
“There’s lots of things I’m doing now which I’m really enjoying. I’m involved with Rotary again, with Dubbo Chamber of Commerce on a sub-committee organising an event with them, seeing more of my kids; working in the shop’s enjoyable as I’m chatting to people all day long, so, you have to weigh up if you still have something to offer in public life,” Mr Dickerson said.
“It was certainly disappointing the way my council time ended because it was not at a time when I could (say to myself that) I’d done everything I could.” He said he hadn’t reached the point where he felt it was the right time to go.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way it happened, so in what form do I now offer service to the community?
“Am I better off pursuing it with Rotary, Chamber of Commerce and whatever else I might do in terms of fundraisers and that sort of thing? Versus whether it might be better off at a council, state or federal level, and then which party you might be with and do you do it as an independent or a party, so there’s all of that”
“There’s 10 or 11 months to a state election, maybe a shorter amount of time to a federal election, you’ve got to weigh up that. I’ve made no decision,” he said.
Mr Dickerson would have to have been a member of the National Party for 12 months prior to the March 2019 election to stand. Dubbo Photo News wasn’t able to confirm whether he qualified on that basis.
Dubbo Photo News asked former head of the Dubbo Nationals branch Peter Bartley about one rumour doing the rounds that the sitting member, Troy Grant, might be challenged for preselection.
“It’s highly unusual for a sitting member to be challenged, although it has happened,” Mr Bartley said.
Mr Bartley was voted out of his position at the AGM in July last year and replaced as chairman by another former mayor, Greg Matthews.
Meanwhile, Mr Dickerson made light of speculation about his own future.
“I find it amusing when I hear people on the radio and someone will be talking about this, and they’ll say, ‘I know Mathew’s doing this and this and this.’ I’m not sure who’s more amused with it, myself or my wife, because of course we’ve had many discussions around it, and she’ll sometimes ring and say, ‘I was listening to the radio and didn’t know you’d made a decision on that,’ and I’ll tell her, ‘I didn’t know I had either,’ and she’ll say, ‘Oh well, they told everyone you had.’ There you go.”
While Mr Dickerson has not formalised his decision about an election either way, he has not ruled out running under the Nationals banner.
“I have made no decision about an election that will be occurring more than a year away,” he said.
The only election more than a year away, potentially, is the Federal election which must be held between August 4, 2018 and May 18, 2019.
The state election is traditionally held on the fourth Saturday in March.