Former State Member for Port Macquarie, Peter Besseling, will contest the September Local Government elections and has declared his intention solely for the mayoral ballot.
Despite reservations after his 2011 State Government election defeat to Leslie Williams, a recent approach from a local businessman and Nationals stalwart, may have tipped the ex-NSW Waratahs rugby union star back into the political spotlight.
“I think the exact moment that I really started thinking about it again was at a barbecue of a friend. He asked me if I was going to run again,” Mr Besseling said. The conversation then went on:
Besseling: “I don’t know, I wasn’t planning on it.”
Friend: “Did you like what you were doing?”
Besseling: “Yes, I loved it”.
Friend: “Why don’t you stay at it?”
“I really couldn’t give him an answer and that got me thinking,”?Mr Besseling said.
Mr Besseling said he didn’t know whether any backlash from his 2011 State election defeat would transfer into the mayoral arena.
“There’s an opportunity here and I can either sit back and watch what goes on and possibly criticise, or suggest ways I can do things better – or, I can get involved,” he said.
“I have had experience as a local MP, I do have those contacts, and I have experience and contacts in the Federal Parliamentary system...
“This actually excites me ... this is an opportunity to help shape the culture and make it a `can- do’ council.”
FULL STORY IN WEDNESDAY'S PORT NEWS