Austin Evans: A new fighter for Murray
On Sunday, a packed-out room of members at the Griffith Exies elected Riverina boy and Coleambally local Austin Evans as their Nationals candidate for the upcoming Murray by-election.
As a long time National, with a deep knowledge of the issues affecting the electorate, Austin Evans succeeded against what NSW Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro named a “star-studded” field to claim the preselection spot, taking over the legacy of Adrian Piccoli who has served for 18 years.
Austin – an irrigation specialist and family man – won over the members with his tenacity, local knowledge, rational thinking and proven track record of delivering for the community.
The former Mayor and Administrator of Murrumbidgee Shire, who fought forced mergers and negotiated a better deal for both the Murrumbidgee and Jerilderie Shires was honoured to be nominated by his peers after debating the key issues of the Murray electorate – water, health and education.
“My life is about service delivery, I’ve worked hard in the roles I’ve filled so far and that’s what I’m offering to Murray – to work really hard to deliver for them, and actually put things on the ground.”
Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the local members had picked a “great local champion.”
“Austin was born and bred in the region and has a long history of serving the community,” he said.
"In short, he knows the issues inside out, because he knows the people here.”
Growing up on a sheep and wheat farm near in the Riverina, Austin has worked in nearly every field that is important to the Murray electorate. From hay-making and farm labouring, to tourism, information technology and owning a small business, Austin’s life, priorities and values are intrinsically linked to the priorities and values of the Nationals and the locals of the Murray electorate.
As the General Manager of Operations for Coleambally Irrigation, his understanding of the water issues encompasses the big picture aspects, and the day-to-day impacts of policy. A father of four boys – all of whom currently attend Coleambally Central School together – quality education is a daily concern.
Austin is also passionate and rational about health services in the region. A key preselection commitment of his was to fight for greater service delivery for Murray through reform and planning, much like what he has delivered for Murrumbidgee at the local government level.
John Barilaro also highlighted Austin’s knowledge of the Murray electorate.
"Austin is an all-rounder. His wide experience working in regional NSW, especially in irrigation and water matters, truly fits the bill for Murray,” he said.
“Austin is ready to hit the ground running to campaign on local issues to ensure the NSW Nationals continue to deliver in Government - taking the fight to the Labor, Greens and Shooters opposition.”