POLL: Kevin Duffy may contest by-election

DISMISSED Orange City councillor Kevin Duffy says he may re-contest his seat if a by-election goes ahead in the first quarter of 2014. 

Mr Duffy said he had bought property in Orange since the last election in September 2012 and was a ratepayer, and therefore entitled to put his hand up at next year's poll.

"I am entitled to run for council just like every other ratepayer, I'm a ratepayer," he said. 

Mr Duffy would not say whether he had moved into the Orange property or was still living at his son's property in Orange, as he claimed throughout the entirety of the year-long Administrative Decisons Tribunal (ADT) hearing.

The ADT ruled on Monday that Mr Duffy be dismissed from Orange City Council on the grounds he did not live in Orange before the electoral roll closed on July 30, 2012.

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The tribunal's president Judge Kevin O'Connor said the answer was "clear-cut" and Mr Duffy had made "no more than a strategic decision" when he took up a bed at his son's home.

Mr Duffy said he did not know if he would appeal the decision in the 28-day window given to him by the court. 

"We're just going through a review of it at the moment and I can't comment on the case specifically," Mr Duffy said.

"I am surprised and disappointed, but we're going through it and I will let you know what decision we make."

One reason for Mr Duffy's possible candidacy in the 2014 by-election is his belief Orange City Council will become the region's local government focal point in the near future.

Mr Duffy believes the Independent Local Government Review Panel will find Blayney, Cabonne and Orange councils should be amalgamated, saying it was only be a matter of time before the "three council's were sacked and made one."

The panel was constructed to determine local government sustainability in NSW and its findings, though not made public, have been handed to the minister for local government. 

In his 14-month tenure on Orange council the only meetings Mr Duffy missed were due to council business excursion which, according to the former Cabonne mayor, were at considerable financial cost.

Mr Duffy, who said he was "proud" of what he had achieved while on Orange council, spent 12 years on Cabonne council in two terms from 1987-1991 and 2004-2012, as well as being mayor from 2008 to 2010. 

He said he was unsure how much the ADT case had cost him financially because he had not yet received the final bill.

"It's only the second innings in a cricket game," he said.

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