GUNNEDAH Mayor Adam Marshall has not ruled out a return to politics after announcing he will move to Armidale once his current term expires.
Cr Marshall, who became mayor of Gunnedah Shire Council in 2008, announced he would not contest the September local government election, opting to commence studies at the University of New England.
“Studying has always been a goal of mine and I’ve come to the conclusion that, despite absolutely loving this community and my role as mayor, I cannot put off this move any longer,” he said.
If his application is accepted, Cr Marshall will begin studying during the third trimester as a mature-aged student, meaning he will have to move almost immediately after leaving the mayoral post.
“I’m quite hopeful I will be accepted and I’d like to study law and possibly economics,” he told The Express.
Cr Marshall said he was looking forward to the move, but was not sure whether he would stay after completing his studies.
“I might stay there in the long term, but I haven’t really given it a lot of thought,” he said. “I think it’s a great community, there’s some really lovely people there, a great atmosphere and it seems very vibrant.”
Cr Marshall was first elected as a councillor in 2004 at the age of 19, making him one of the youngest local government representatives in the country. He was deputy mayor from 2007 until rising to the position of mayor after the 2008 election.
During his time as mayor, Cr Marshall was also chairman of the NSW Country Mayors Association and the senior vice president of the Shires Association of NSW.
While he said he had no current plans to re-enter politics, Cr Marshall said he remained interested in the subject and would consider it if the opportunity arose.
“You need to understand that politics is fluid, and it’s impossible to predict the positions or circumstances that will occur in the future,” he said.
“If an opportunity presents itself I might consider it, but it would have to work for me and be on my terms, I’m not going to be pushed into anything.
“At the moment I just want to focus on studying.”
Liberal Duty MLC for Northern NSW Scot MacDonald said he would support Cr Marshall in any future endeavour.
“He’s a young bloke with a good approach to regional issues and a good grounding,” he said.
“I know that Adam’s still looking at his future, but I don’t care whether he puts his hand up for state or federal politics in the future; we need to recognise people who have skills and encourage them.”