Member for Calare John Cobb has paid tribute to Parkes after announcing his retirement from politics last Saturday. Mr Cobb, aged 66, was first elected into the federal parliament in 2001 and due to boundary changes, the shires of Forbes and Parkes have been the only two shires to remain in his electorate for his entire time as member for Calare.
Ironically, this changed on February 25th when the new federal electorate boundaries of NSW were updated, with
Forbes and Parkes now being a part of the Riverina electorate. Mr Cobb will continue to represent Forbes and Parkes until he officially retires three weeks before the election, which is yet to be announced. He said he would be sad to leave the representation of Forbes and Parkes, as they have been with him throughout his career. “Forbes and Parkes
have been absolutely phenomenal. I look them as my security blanket in politics, the place that I know I will hear what I need to hear, without fear or favour.”
In his 15 years overseeing Calare, Mr Cobb said a personal highlight was the way the Coalition dealt with the 10-year drought throughout the start of the 2000s. “In 2007 I got John Howard [then Prime Minister] and John Anderson [then Deputy Prime Minister] to a station just west of Forbes,” he said; “There was a big gathering there and Mr Howard was in high demand and I remember saying to him, ‘there’s a couple here who want to talk to you, John, about family and the mental side of drought. They lost a son and they lost a neighbour’ and he said, ‘absolutely’ and I took him away and introduced them to him and I can still see him walking under a tree with them, with his arm around both of them, and he gave them 15 minutes. That’s a long time for a Prime Minister, and after that he introduced a mental health package for drought affected farmers.”
Mr Cobb was also happy with the aged care infrastructure he has been able to bring and hopes to see a new dam in the Central West built before he retires. “It has been an incredible opportunity and I’d like to thank Calare for their generosity, hospitality and patience, my family for their support and my National party colleagues for their hard work.” If it is a big thing to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, it is also a big thing to leave it and we wish
John all the best with the future.