While we’re yet to hear it from the man himself, Adrian Piccoli’s looming retirement from NSW state politics will be a time to dissect the Member for Murray’s remarkable – so far – 18 years in Parliament.
He has the honour of being one of the longest serving frontbench ministers in NSW history, and most recently, comfortably reclaimed his seat by a healthy margin in 2015. But the past 12 months have been defining for the Member for Murray.
A legacy was tarnished somewhat when the then Minister for Education was dismissed from Premier Berejiklian's front bench.
The unceremonious demotion was a prelude to a handful of significant events shifting the state government and Mr Piccoli under the spotlight in the Murray electorate.
He was set to claim the jewel of his lasting education legacy earlier in the year, delivering a brand new public high school facility for his home town.
His vision came to fruition, albeit in a bastardised form, thanks to a noisy campaign from school merger skeptics demanding Mr Piccoli 'leave our schools alone' and keep his hands off Wade and GHS' identities.
Mr Piccoli was the focus of a passionate and angry group of doubters screaming an anti-merger message over a subdued pro-merger contingent.
The spotlight returned soon after when the Member for Murray hosted the Premier at Griffith and announced a $35 million pledge as part of the first stage of upgrade Griffith Base Hospital.
It wasn't the home run he and the Berejiklian Government expected, with residents cynically opting to wait on more detail before celebrating.
Then just days later, revelations from local doctors Griffith Base Hospital services would be moved to Wagga, and the MIA went into full campaign mode.
Finger pointing between the Murrumbidgee Local Health District and the state government ensued.
It's hard to say whether losing his portfolio is a contributing factor to his change in heart, spelling out the beginning of the end of his almost 20-year stint as the Murray electorate representative.
Mr Piccoli knows deserting the Nationals halfway through his term would spell disaster for his party.
If the whispers are all correct and he is indeed packing his bags, maybe this time Mr Piccoli’s doing it on his terms.
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