Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis at his office.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis at his office. Adam Hourigan

Gulaptis "disappointed" with Cansdell's return to politics

WHILE Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis was unveiling a new defibrillator for the Lawrence community, the jolt through the Clarence Valley political system was felt in Grafton when the controversial former MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell made a shock announcement he would stand for the seat of Clarence at next year's State election.

With the announcement set to jump-start the campaign for the election in March, Mr Gulaptis said he was disappointed to hear the announcement.

"I'm disappointed because he was the local member and if he loved his job why did he resign and cause a by-election," Mr Gulaptis said.

"He has to answer that question.

"This is not about individuals, this is about what can we do to deliver to the electorate, and over the last seven years we've seen what the Nationals have been able to deliver with the new bridge, the new jail, the highway, the Sportsmans Creek Bridge in Lawrence, and there's countless other programs and other funding announcements like the one for the Grafton Regional Gallery."

Mr Gulaptis said he was taken aback by Mr Cansdell's return to politics, where he will represent the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.

"I was surprised because I thought (Steve Cansdell's) time in the sun was over," Mr Gualptis said.

"He resigned and he caused a by-election so I'm surprised that he wants to get back into the fray, so I think he needs to ask himself why he resigned?"

Despite the challengers for Mr Gulaptis' seat, he said he was confident he would remain Member for Clarence after next year's election.

"You're always confident going into an election," he said.

"We've done some wonderful things in this electorate and I'd like to see them continue and if the public thinks we're delivering for them, then they'll vote for us.