The NSW National Party have elected Paul Toole MP as NSW Nationals Leader and Bronnie Taylor MLC as his deputy replacing NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro who resigned on Monday.
Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest and Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said their election ‘is great news for the North Coast’.
The MPs credited ‘Mr Toole with increased funding for fixing local roads and country bridges following the successful completion of the massive Pacific Highway duplication’.
Mr Gulaptis singled out a ‘$10 million grant to upgrade the busy Coraki-Woodburn Road’ as being attributable to the actions of Mr Toole.
Mr Provest said it was also, ‘Mr Toole who had delivered on the Nationals’ promise of a $1 million Tweed Light Rail Study.’
They said the elevation of current Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor MLC to the deputy leadership brought extra intelligence and compassion to the team.
Must deliver for rural communities
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin (Labor) congratulated Mr Toole on becoming Deputy Premier but reminded him and his party that they ‘must deliver on all of their election promises’.
That list includes ‘a proven boost to the health workforce, traffic lights for the Dawson Street-Ballina Road intersection in Lismore, taking back responsibility for up to 15,000 kilometres of regional roads from local councils, and fast-tracking the Tenterfield Bypass. (I have a longer list ready for Tooley as we call him),’ she explained.
Ms Saffin said it was the combined efforts of MPs banding together that had ensured that the NSW government had ‘regionalised’ the COVID-19 roadmap for opening up. Through these efforts they were able to ‘secure things that should have been in the roadmap’ including ‘vaccine equity for our rural and regional… and greater clarity for local business.’
‘The “Nationals in Government” must deliver, and make full account of, their election commitment of 284 extra nurses and midwives, 32 doctors, 38 allied health staff and 50 hospital workers across the Electorate of Lismore during this current Parliamentary term. I have asked the NSW Health Minister for a few nurses to be placed in Tenterfield. This is now more urgent with an expected surge in COVID-19 cases regionally,’ she said.