ALMOST four months after winning the Murray by-election Austin Evans is still treating every day as a new learning experience.
Mr Evans won the by-election in a tough contest ahead of a strong field of candidates after long-time member Adrian Piccoli stepped down from the role.
Since his victory, Mr Evans has been virtually run off his feet, heading to all parts of the electorate and hearing many varied stories from constituents.
“The car is pretty much my office,” he said.
“I can be going anywhere on any day, so the travel is still something I’m getting used to, but it’s also one of my favourite parts of the job so far.
“I’m getting to see a lot of the electorate and meet a lot of great people.”
Mr Evans has just over a year to cement his spot as the Member for Murray before next year’s state election on March 23.
The by-election was a tight tussle between his Nationals party and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, who were nipping at their heels throughout the campaign and on election day.
After the polls were closed and votes tallied, Mr Evans came out on top, but a swing of about 15 per cent was recorded against the party.
Mr Evans was aware there was plenty of work to be done in the electorate and he said his focus was on listening to the people and seeing where he could help.
He said people were starting to recognise him now he had been “around” for some time.
“Adrian’s shoes are big ones to fill,” Mr Evans said.
“Hopefully people are starting to recognise my face as the local member and the same goes for me.
“I’m starting to become more familiar with who is who and what is what.
“It’s very important because there is a lot of work we need to be doing in our electorate.
“While it’s been busy, I’m loving every minute.
“I’m hoping that soon I will be able to really get my teeth into some of the issues or problems people are facing.”
Four facts you may or may not know about Austin Evans
1 He is a passionate Sydney Swans fan, but in the last couple of years has also held a GWS Giants membership. In the NRL he follows the Melbourne Storm. “I just love footy,” he said.
2 Austin went to primary school in Matong and high school in Narrandera.
3 Austin was elected to the Murrumbidgee Shire Council in 2012, he became the deputy mayor in 2013 and mayor in 2014. After winning the by-election he gave up his councillor role to focus on his new position.
4 His wife’s name is Demelza and the pair have four boys.