Recently elected Murrumbidgee Councillor Austin Evans was announced as the new Nationals candidate for the seat of Murray in a ballot at Griffith Exies on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Evans has vowed to go ‘back to basics and focus on the party’s core values’ in the lead-up to next month’s by-election.
The former Murrumbidgee Shire mayor said he was ‘deeply honoured’ to be chosen to represent the Nationals.
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- “I feel deeply honoured and a real sense of responsibility,” Mr Evans said.
“The future of this seat is too important to be influenced by a noisy minority.”
Mr Evans also announced plans to travel the length and breadth of the electorate on a special ‘listening tour’ in the coming weeks
NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro welcomed the pre-selection of Mr Evans and said his wealth of experience made him a strong local candidate for the upcoming by-election.
“Austin was born and bred in the region and has a long history of serving the community,” he said.
“He has proved himself to our party members here in Murray this weekend, that he is the right person to represent the people of this electorate.
“In regional and rural NSW, more than anywhere else, people need to feel that their local member knows them, will listen to them, and will represent them doggedly. I know that Austin has the ability to do just that.”
He is the right person to represent the people of this electorateJohn Barilaro, NSW Nationals leader
Mr Evans was born in Narrandera and spent his childhood growing up on a sheep and wheat property near Matong.
His career background includes working for the Kondinin Group and Sunwater, and he is currently the general manager of operations at Coleambally irrigation.
- More on the Area News website on Monday morning at Mr Evans’ first media conference.
Mr Barilaro said he is excited the NSW Nationals chose a “true fighter” in Austin Evans to run as their candidate to represent the seat of Murray.
“Austin is ready to his the ground running to campaign on local issues to ensure the NSW Nationals continue to deliver in government,” he said.
NSW Nationals deputy leader Niall Blair said Mr Evans’ pre-selection was “the right decision” of grassroots party members who knew what the residents of Murray need and want from their representative.
“I am confident that Austin will fight hard for the people of Murray now and well into the future,” he said.
“I have no doubt he will be the best representative for the Murray electorate.”