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Rob Oakeshott to contest federal election

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Former independent MP Rob Oakeshott will contest the NSW seat of Cowper at the July 2 federal election.

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Oakeshott retired as the MP for Lyne in 2013, having controversially supported Julia Gillard in minority government after the 2010 election.

His home town of Port Macquarie is now in the seat of Cowper, held by Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker, who was dumped from the frontbench in Malcolm Turnbull’s second reshuffle.

“I confirm I have nominated to be the federal member for Cowper in the 45th parliament,” Oakeshott posted on Facebook today.

He said he did not think, in 2013, that he would ever return to politics.

But he had been disappointed over the past three years that disadvantage on the NSW mid-north coast had not been addressed and the parliament had failed to deliver tax reform and constitutional recognition of indigenous people.

“Over time, I realised I had more to give, and the politics was still in my blood,” he said.

Oakeshott said he would be open to Mr Turnbull forming a minority government in the event of a hung parliament.

“As prime minister, he would have first go in this process of forming government in the House of Representatives,” he said.

“I would not block his efforts to do so, and would accept his phone call if he wanted to formalise something in more detail.

“I ask the community to remember that a prime minister is not only in office prior to an election, but also during and after.

“They therefore have the responsibility to lead on any process of negotiation, in the unlikely event that it may occur.”

His nomination means all of the independent MPs who delivered the Gillard minority government are contesting the 2016 election.

AAP

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