THERE are not many people who can say they have cycled every street in Orange, Millthorpe, Blayney, Bathurst, Oberon, Lithgow, Parkes and Forbes.
But it’s something Country Labor candidate for Calare Jess Jennings will be able to claim when he finishes up on the campaign trail in the lead-up to the September 7 federal election.
So far Dr Jennings has clocked up about 300 kilometres on his bike and said the experience has allowed him to see a different side to every major Calare town.
“The intention behind it is that you can’t represent an electorate properly unless you know the electorate,” he said.
“Cycling around is a very good way to get the feel of a town. It’s something I’m combining with doorknocking.”
Dr Jennings said he doesn’t believe sitting member and rival candidate John Cobb can claim to have visited every street of every major Calare town, and recommends representatives of all government tiers should visit their constituents via bike.
“You get to see both sides of the tracks,” he said.
“The pride people take in their gardens, the way the town developed, old and new buildings, the public infrastructure like roads and playgrounds and the state that it’s in.”
“But you also see the back areas, the laneways and shops and what services are around and what state the economy is in.”
Dr Jennings is spending three days in Orange as part of his campaign trail, doorknocking at as many homes as he can.
“I’ve come across a few Nationals [supporters] but the ones I have spoken to have been open towards me,” he said.
“A lot were not overly impressed with the current local member and they said Labor’s done some good things.”
He also took the chance to meet with Orange tourism manager Glenn Mickle to discuss his tourism policy and meet with Orange councillors last night.
Although he has enjoyed the experience of keeping fit while campaigning, Dr Jennings cycled on days when the temperature dipped as low as 4 degrees in Oberon and even colder in Orange yesterday when it was just 3 degrees.
“I rode down Icely Street and I understand why it’s called that,” he laughed.