General News

29 March, 2024

Coulton won’t contest next election

Long-serving member for Parkes, the National Party's Mark Coulton announced that he is retiring.

By Supplied

Coulton won’t contest next election - feature photo

Long-serving member for Parkes, the National Party's Mark Coulton, announced on Monday, March 25 that he is retiring. “It is with mixed emotions, that I announce that I will not be contesting the seat of Parkes at the next federal election,” he said. “It has been an incredible honour to represent the people of the Parkes electorate for more than 16 years, but the time has come for me to step aside,” he added. Mr Coulton has held the seat since November 2007 for The Nats, and regularly posts about his travels across the vast electorate on social media and via his website.

“I’ve spent the past 16 years travelling hundreds of thousands of kilometres across my electorate, getting to know the strong and vibrant communities I represent,” Mr Coulton said in his announcement on Monday. “It has been a great privilege and I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve over that time,” he said. He added, however, that now was the time for some new blood in the party and for the region. “It’s time for a fresh face to take-up the baton, and I’m looking forward to the members of The Nationals in the Parkes electorate, finding a suitable replacement who can continue to provide strong representation in Canberra. “In the meantime, I will continue to proudly represent this wonderful electorate with the utmost enthusiasm until the next election,” Mr Coulton concluded.

Leader of the federal Nationals, David Littleproud, after the announcement, thanked Coulton for his decade-and-a-half public duty. “It is no easy feat to serve in parliament for 16 years; but Mark has served with the utmost integrity and has been a trusted source of advice and guidance to those around him,” Mr Littleproud said. “He has fought for better regional services and has served in the ministry in regional health, regional communication, and local government, as well as assistant minister for trade, tourism and investment. Mr Littleproud said Mr Coulton was a highly respected member of parliament who served the Parkes electorate and his nation with enormous integrity and hard work: “Mark is a strident advocate for Inland Rail and the benefits it will deliver to his local communities, industries and regional Australia.”

Mr Littleproud added that Mr Coulton — who is also the National Party’s chief parliamentary whip — previously worked as a farmer and grazier, and his skills and experience had been invaluable to the issues facing regional Australians. “Mark has covered his 393,413-square kilometre electorate with dedication, having also been the former mayor of Gwydir Shire Council,” Mr Littleproud said. “His real-world and real-life experience enabled him to stand up for the challenges regional communities face. In a profession known for sometimes abrasive personalities and outsized egos, Coulton had always remained a true country gentleman, Mr Littleproud said.


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