Bryce Wilson to Have Second Tilt at Monaro State Seat in By-Election to Replace John Barilaro | Canberra weather

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Queanbeyan-Palerang city councilor and 2019 Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson will have another seat tilt in the state’s next by-election to replace longtime national MP John Barilaro. Mr Wilson, who is a Labor preselection candidate, said he wanted to give voters a chance to express their views on the Perrottet government and its handling of COVID. “People are certainly concerned about the current state of the pandemic,” he said. “Labor at both federal and state level have called for rapid and free antigen testing. We have seen some movement on this, but not enough.” Mr Wilson criticized what he described as the NSW government’s broken promises to the South NSW electorate, saying the coalition had failed to resolve housing affordability issues in Cooma; and the shortage of schools in communities such as Googong. He says underemployment and pressures on the cost of living will be among the issues that will determine the outcome of the still-unanticipated by-elections. The communities of Monaro needed a strong advocate to represent them after the devastation of the 2019-2020 bushfire season and COVID-19, Wilson said. “They need a local champion, advancing these specific individual issues.” He said Labor MP for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain, led the way in defending the region and created a role model to follow. Mr Wilson lost the final race to Monaro in the 2019 state election, as a 9.1% swing against John Barilaro secured him another term. The deputy prime minister’s resignation late last year prompted the next by-election. The Nationals have held the seat since 2011, when Mr Barilaro won it in the coalition’s landslide electoral victory against Labor. While it has existed since 1856, Monaro, in its last incarnation, since 1927, oscillates between Labor and Conservative parties. Steve Whan of the Labor Party held it for eight years until 2011. Other senior members include Peter Cochrane (1988-99) and Peter Webb (1999-2003) of the Nationals. It is still unclear what influence the absence of an incumbent and the uncertainties surrounding the next stage of the pandemic will have on this year’s by-elections. Mr Wilson said winning the seat, which has a nearly 12% margin, would be a tough request, but Mr Barilaro’s absence had reset the pitch somewhat. READ MORE: Former teacher and federal civil servant Mr Wilson was elected Labor adviser to the Queanbeyan-Palerang council in 2021, and is also a senior electorate officer for Federal Labor member for ACT seat in Bean, David Smith. He lives with his wife and daughter in Jerrabomberra, has served as president of his local P&C and is a member of the local residents association. NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said residents of Monaro would have the opportunity to send a strong message to NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet. “Bryce has a diverse and strong background in policy and advocacy, with a real connection to the local community,” he said. “He also knows all too well the essential role of education and training in helping our young people reach their full potential. And he understands the barriers to economic opportunity our young people face.” Friday January 14. Vying to replace Mr Barilaro for the Nationals is Queanbeyan author and historian Nichole Overall, who was unchallenged as the party’s candidate. Mr Wilson has said he intends to remain adviser to Queanbeyan-Palerang at least initially if he wins the Monaro by-election. Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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