FORMER Member for New England Tony Windsor has indicated he may attempt a return to politics at the next federal election, due to be held next year.
Mr Windsor has cited matters surrounding the environmental water trigger, and other issues connected to the government, as reasons that might see him attempt a return to the political arena.
The water trigger was introduced as an amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act by the previous Labor government.
It required federal government approval for large extractive projects that held the potential to affect water resources, and it was a big issue for farmers in the Liverpool Plains district.
Mr Windsor spent eight years working on the water trigger, and said he considered the legislation critical to the scrutiny of some mining projects.
He said he hoped the present government would have the common sense to keep it in place without change.
“That, and a number of other things, I wouldn’t rule out having another go at the political scene, particularly if the water trigger is tampered with,” Mr Windsor said.
I wouldn’t rule out having another go at the political scene, particularly if the water trigger is tampered with.- Tony Windsor
“Water is precious to us all. To water the trigger down, as the government has suggested it may do, would be a travesty, and just add to the discontent that the community has of the decision making process the state and federal governments use to decide these projects.”
Mr Windsor said the real acid test was the Shenhua Mine on the Liverpool Plains, which he described as being politically a one-way process.
“At the scientific level, that mine has been referred to the independent scientific committee, and the way in which Greg Hunt, the federal Minister is dealing with this would indicate they’re trying to get a favourable answer, other than a scientific one,” Mr Windsor said.
He said if he did make a return to politics it would be as an independent.
“I have suggested in my book quite openly, I’m refreshed now in terms of my health, I’ve done a few things that I wanted to do with my family and I’m still very interested in what’s happening in our nation,” Mr Windsor said.
“Some of the things I see happening and potentially happening are quite concerning.
"They may not be to others, but that doesn’t stop people putting themselves up for political office,” he said.
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