He is the political firebrand who could be the ultimate wild card in the Upper Hunter byelection and possibly state parliament.
Bruce MacKenzie or simply 'Macka' - a 50-year veteran of local government politics - is carefully weighing up whether to throw his hat into the ring as an independent for the May 22 contest.
"I've still got 10 days to make up my mind," he told the Newcastle Herald.
"I'm an attack dog. I've been around a long time. [My political opponents] will s..t themselves."
The 82-year-old, who retired as mayor of Port Stephens in 2017, said building Tillegra dam, protecting landholder rights and coal mining jobs would be his campaign priorities.
Tillegra Dam, a 450 gigalitre water storage, was first proposed in the 1960s as a way of securing the region's water supply.
Hunter Water has also sold back 6000 hectares of land that was purchased for the project.
"Everyone in Dungog wants Tillegra Dam; it would have made the town," Mr MacKenzie said.
"They have wasted enough money buying up land around Sydney airport so they could afford to buy back the land they need for Tillegra."
Mr MacKenzie who owns four properties totalling 15,000 acres at Gloucester, believes land holders were badly let down by governments during the last drought.
"They [governments] did not do enough to help them,' Mr MacKenzie said.
"People who were forced to sell their valuable breeding stock just to survive should be compensated in their land rates."
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The National Party has held the seat for the past 90 years.
It needs to retain the seat, which it holds by a 2.6 per cent margin, to avoid plunging the Coalition into minority government in NSW.
With at least seven candidates running as of Tuesday afternoon, preferences are likely to determine the byelection's outcome.
As for his preferences, which would be highly prized by conservative rivals, Mr MacKenzie was tight-lipped.
"What will they offer me? I reckon the Nationals will be knocking on my door pretty quickly."
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