NATIONAL Party members positioning themselves for a tilt at the seat of Calare have been warned to cool their heels with incumbent federal member John Cobb giving the strongest indication yet that he plans to contest another election.
Responding to speculation over his future in politics, Mr Cobb said that has no plans to retire just yet and was planning to seek another term in Canberra.
Mr Cobb, who turned 64 in February, would be 66 when the 2016 election rolls around and, if successful, 69 by the end of that term.
But that would likely be the end of his political career, he said.
“We’ve only just started this current term of government so it’s very premature to be talking about this, but I have no plans for retirement,” Mr Cobb said.
“I would say at this stage that I will be running again in 2016 but if I win I don’t think I would be running again.
“I don’t think I will be in Parliament in my 70s.”
Mr Cobb said he believed speculation over his future started in Labor ranks rather than within his own party.
“The suggestion was that there was some dissention within Nationals ranks because I had not got enough money for Calare,” he said.
“That’s the same line Labor was running at last year’s election but, of course, it’s nonsense because [until the last election] we were in opposition the whole time I had been member for Calare.
“It’s pretty difficult to bring in a lot for your electorate when you’re in opposition.”
Mr Cobb entered Federal Parliament as the member for Parkes in 2001 and has survived two boundary redistributions to prolong his career.
He first ran for Calare in 2007 following a boundary redistribution and retained the seat in 2010 after the boundaries were redrawn again.
He won again in 2013, with a swing of more than 5 per cent giving him 65.97 per cent of the two-party preferred vote and establishing Calare as one of the safest Coalition seats in the state.