Singleton Business Chambers president Sue Gilroy says its about time the Upper Hunter electorate had a strong voice in the NSW Parliament.
Speaking in Singleton this morning to announce her candidacy for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (SFF) for the May 22 Upper Hunter by-election Mrs Gilroy said she had been approached by the SFF to run in the campaign.
"We have been taken for granted for far too long and now we need a seat at the table to ensure this electorate receives the support to remain an economic powerhouse and that all our industries mining, agriculture, tourism prosper and can co-exist," she said.
She was critical of the Coalition government's neglect of the electorate saying there was a lack of funding for vital infrastructure especially road and health services funding.
Although not holding a gun licence Mrs Gilroy said she grew up on a farm and had lived in the region for decades giving her a unique understanding of regional and rural Australia.
"I am a businesswomen, a registered nurse, I've worked in mining. I have never lived in the city in my life. I dare say few people would be able to say that in NSW Parliament," she said.
She currently operates her own life coaching business based in Singleton. Although a well known face in Singleton Mrs Gilroy said her biggest challenge in the campaign was getting out and speaking to electors throughout the seat and listening to them and hearing their concerns.
Asked about the her views on landuse conflicts between mining and agriculture she said she would have more to say on these issues but believed the two can and do co-exist.
SFF, leader Robert Borsak, MLC, then spoke about the party's support for coal fired power stations in the region saying solar might power homes during the day but coal was still needed at night.
He was also highly critical of NSW Liberal Party leadership saying the Premier Gladys Berejiklian had already written off the electorate saying they can't win.
"Well Premier we think that sums up your whole attitude towards the Upper Hunter and if The Nationals should hold onto this seat then we will see a return of Malcolm Turnbull and his ideas about coal mining," he said.
During the six week campaign period Mrs Gilroy will step aside from her Presidency role with the Singleton Business Chamber to focus on the election campaign. Danny Eather, the current Vice President for the Singleton Business Chamber will step into the position of Acting-President until further roles are confirmed following the results of the By-Election