Former Shoalhaven mayor Paul Green expects Senator David Leyonhjelm’s switch to state politics will make his own bid for re-election much tougher.
Mr Green, who is in his eighth year as a member of the NSW Legislative Council, said Mr Leyonhjelm’s move from federal politics “thins out” positions available at the state level.
“Normally the major parties will take up to around 17 positions with the Greens and then there’s probably about four left,” Mr Green told Fairfax Media.
“Depending on how well those major parties do there might be three left or maybe two, so you put the likes of One Nation in there, David Leyonhjelm, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers [party], Animal Justice [party] and myself, we’re all fighting for about two or maybe three positions, so a very tight race.”
Mr Green, a Christian Democrat based in the Shoalhaven, reminded voters to avoid being swayed by politicians like Mr Leyonhjelm, who heavily appear on broadcast media.
“If you watch a lot of TV you’ll see these guys are first-grade media persons, they are in the media quite regularly which exposes them to millions of people which obviously increases their vote. Obviously that’s in their favour,” Mr Green said.
While some higher-profile politicians gunning for his seat may be more well-known, Mr Green said his record over the past eight years was “tried, tested and true” and included the restoration of the NSW economy.
“We were number seven or number eight in terms of Australia’s economies and we were certainly number one for 15 quarters and now we’re fighting Victoria as per usual for the leading economy,” Mr Green said.
“Since my term we’ve added about $110 billion to the net worth of NSW. We’ve got some of the lowest unemployment we’ve seen in the state for years.”
He also has unfinished business.
“Bringing electricity prices down, securing NSW water and the 60,000 people that are still on social public and affordable housing list and the homeless,” he said.
“So, there’s a lot of unfinished business from my point of view that I’d love to continue another term to make some sort of impact to those areas.”