Cr John Arkan (right) chats to Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott (left).
Cr John Arkan (right) chats to Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott (left).

Cr plans role with Liberals

COFFS Harbour City Councillor John Arkan will fight next year's local government election as a Liberal party candidate.

The first-time councillor said he had not yet decided whether to put his hat into the ring as a state or federal government candidate.

Cr Arkan unsuccessfully contested the last federal election as an Independent.

"Nothing like deciding to run for local government as an endorsed Liberal candidate and then running into the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, at a Coalition function in Port Macquarie," Cr Arkan said.

"I was really chuffed with the warm welcome Tony gave me."

Cr Arkan is already actively campaigning for the September 2012 local government elections.

Coffs Harbour Liberal Party branch president Jenny Farquhar said public focus on government at all levels was high right now, with the recent state election, a state by-election in the adjoining seat of Clarence on November 19 and local government elections planned for next year.

"Having John Arkan join the Liberal Party's ranks is a bonus," Mrs Farquhar said.

Cr Arkan said that being "fiercely patriotic", his wish had always been to get the best for the community and he thought the Liberal Party had the best chance of doing that.

Coffs Harbour is represented by The National Party's Andrew Fraser (state) and Luke Hartsuyker (federal).

The National Party is the junior party in the conservative Coalition, which is in government in NSW and in opposition in the Federal Parliament.

Mrs Farquhar said anyone interested in becoming involved in the local Liberal branch could contact her on 0417 279 209.