Andrew Constance confirms tilt at Eden-Monaro
Everyone in this country is looking for change, Andrew Constance has declared as he announced his tilt for the Federal seat of Eden-Monaro.
Pitching himself as a man dedicated to lifting the region out of the residual pain of the bushfire crisis, Mr Constance said he wasn't interested in political infighting or political "filters" and believed at a Federal level he could spend more time with his community.
He said while some had criticised his emotional "fragility", he said this was a benefit in a political role.
Asked about his relationship with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Mr Constance said the PM was showing strong leadership during the COVID-19 crisis.
He said the PM had apologised personally to him after their run-in during the bushfires and many lessons had been learnt from the period.
"People don't care about the politics between Andrew Constance and Scott Morrision," Mr Constance said.
"People want to survive this," he said of bushfire recovery.
Mr Constance said he hoped to work closely with Andrew Colvin who has been appointed National bushfire recovery co-ordinator.
When asked how long he would do the job for should he be elected, he replied "I couldn't turn my back on the communities I seek to represent''.
He said he was not running to "get engaged in-infighting and that rubbish".
"The key element for me is to make sure we do the recovery right," he said.
"I can't stand by knowing we've got people in our communities who can't...look at a fireplace without reliving that tragedy".
He said mental health and disaster relief were critical things he wanted to tackle.
Mr Constance said the Federal role would give him more time to be in his electorate than running Sydney's transport network as Transport Minister.
He said he'd "be himself": "people will get the Andrew Constance who loves to have a beer and hang out with mates", he said, adding he'd lost the stereotypical politician's "filter" after the fires.
Asked about John Barilaro, who dropped out of the race Sunday night, Mr Constance said "I love John" and that he would not have contested the seat against him.
He said he was still in discussions with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about the timing of his resignation as Transport Minister, saying he was contesting the Liberal nomination for Eden-Monaro and he would need to stand aside after close of nominations.
Originally published as Andrew Constance confirms tilt at Eden-Monaro