Nats eager to turn Page
IT has been a tumultuous week in Federal politics, but it is still a world which Clunes businessman Kevin Hogan hopes to enter at the next election.
At the weekend he was selected unopposed as the National candidate for the seat of Page.
“It is a pretty interesting time to be getting involved in politics, given the week we’ve just had,” Mr Hogan, 46, said.
“But I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want to and if I didn’t think I could win it.”
But he knows he will have a fight on his hands.
Current Page MP, Labor’s Janelle Saffin, won the seat in 2007 after Ian Causley retired.
However Mr Hogan says people have since become disillusioned with Labor.
“I think that the Rudd government has made a lot of mistakes,” he said.
“And so there is pressure on Ms Saffin, by default, because she supports that Government.
“If an election was called today, then maybe I wouldn’t win. But by the time the next one comes around, I honestly think I can win the seat.
“I got involved with politics because I became very despondent with Labor. But the Nationals are a grass roots party.
“You’ve got very popular, hard working State MPs like Thomas George, Don Page and Steve Cansdell.
“They have been an invaluable resource for me.”
The Nationals had difficulty finding candidates for the Page pre-selection, with Mr Hogan the only one to put his hand up. But he said that was no indication of the level of commitment to the party.
“For a lot of people it just wasn’t the right time,” he said.
Mr Hogan and his wife, Karen, live at Clunes and have three children: Bridget, 14, Sean, 12, and Rosemary, 8.
He has a background in economics and now runs his own consultancy business, as well as a beef cattle farm.
He also spent seven years as a teacher at St Mary’s High School in Casino, where he was deputy principal.
But he says he is keen to make a difference in the community by representing its people in Federal Government.
“I have been talking to a lot of people in the electorate, and health is a major issue for people,” he said.
“Normally that would be a State issue, but Kevin Rudd made it a Federal issue when he became Prime Minister.”
Mr Hogan said people were also concerned about the economy and the level of debt being run up by the Federal Government.
In the lead-up to the next Federal election, Mr Hogan said he would spend a lot of time meeting people.
“We have got a lot of work to do,” he admitted.
“But I am passionate about my beliefs, and I think the Nationals can get Page back.”
Mr Hogan is currently the secretary of the Page electorate council of the National Party.
He is a member of an advisory committee to Lismore City Council on waste water issues, vice president of the Clunes P&C, and vice-president of the tennis club.