ANDREW Gee's shock resignation from the National Party to sit as an independent comes after an up-and-down nine months for the federal Member for Calare.
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But it came after a dramatic press conference in March where the then-Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans' Affairs told the media he had been a hair's breadth away from resigning from the Morrison Government's cabinet.
Mr Gee was unhappy about the backlog in compensation claims for veterans and their families and described the Federal Government's stance as "kicking the can down the road".
He said he had asked for $96 million to implement a plan that would secure extra staff and help cut red tape in processing the claims, but, up until the Saturday morning of his press conference, he hadn't felt that he was making any headway.
"The Deputy Prime Minister, I believe, spoke to the Prime Minister and I had a couple of conversations with the Minister for Defence Peter Dutton," he told the media.
"I'm not sure where they're going to find the money, but I am assured that they are going to find it and, on that basis, I have decided not to resign."
In late April, Mr Gee made a pre-election commitment of $15 million for the proposed multi-storey car park in the Bathurst CBD to be built alongside the planned Bathurst Integrated Medical Centre.
When Mr Gee was questioned at his press conference about the car parks the Federal Government had promised to build in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election but which had not yet been completed, he pointed to his track record of keeping his election commitments in Calare.
He was also highly critical of the new Federal Government's decision to postpone funding for the NSW Government's multi-billion dollar upgrade of the Great Western Highway from Lithgow to Katoomba.
"It's a diabolical situation because communities have been campaigning for a better crossing over the mountains for years," he said.
It's yet to be announced who will inherit Mr Gee's shadow ministries of Regional Education, Regional Health and Regional Development, Local Government and Territories.
The MP's announcement means the once-heartland Orange region now has no National Party representation. Both federal and state members serve as independents.
In December, NSW Orange Member Phil Donato resigned from the Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers Party, citing "inappropriate" behavior from leader Robert Borsak.
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