Sykes talks about his highs and lows

Three terms in office enough for former member

FAREWELL BILL SYKES: Bill Sykes has retired from politics after a memorable 12 years as the state member for Benalla.

AFTER three terms in office and 12 long years, Bill Sykes, the former state member for the now old seat of Benalla, has called it a day.

On Saturday night, he stood by recently elected Stephanie Ryan (MLA, Euroa) as the votes were counted for the new seat.

For Mr Sykes, it was a perfect way to end his political career and a chance to reminisce on all the highs and lows of his time in office.

The man explained how he initially got elected, after losing to former Benalla MP Denise Allen (Labor) in 2000.

“I contested (Denise) again in 2002 and won just narrowly,” he said.

“The first four years you’re just feeling your way and the next four you’re starting to be on top of it.

“I was fortunate that in the last four years, we (the Nationals) were in government and that was a learning experience but also a heck of an improvement into getting things done.”

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