Get to know John and Niall
During the last sitting week for 2016, Member for the Monaro John Barilaro and Niall Blair MLC have accepted roles as Leader and Deputy Leader of the NSW Nationals Party.
John and Niall are passionate advocates for regional NSW and have proven their commitment through their continued hard work and perseverance as Ministers and Members of Parliament.
Both Leaders are highly respected amongst colleagues, industry and communities across the State and will ensure that the people of regional NSW are front and centre to the decision making of the Government.
John was born and bred in the border town of Queanbeyan to Italian migrant parents who came to Australia in 1968. Their hard working and selfless example instilled in him a strong value of family and community service.
John still lives in Queanbeyan with wife Deanna and their three daughters.
Having spent most of his working life running his own business in Queanbeyan, John understands the importance of a strong and sustainable local community.
John believes in supporting a thriving business economy, building a skilled workforce for the future and investing in communities across regional NSW.
John became a councillor for Queanbeyan City Council in 2008, then stood for Parliament in the state seat of the Monaro in the 2011 NSW election.
John was faced with a marginal seat with a lead of just 2 per cent. After years of hard work and dedication, working with and listening to the local community, John won the seat of the Monaro, increasing the margin by 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent as it stands today.
The Monaro community has and will remain a priority for John as he steps up to the role of Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Premier.
With a unique understanding and passion for representing regional NSW, John is well known for fighting for the best interests of his electorate, engaging industry and the community along the way to ensure the right outcomes.
Originally from Goulburn, Niall graduated from Hawkesbury Agricultural College with a Bachelor of Horticulture Science and has also completed a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety.
Prior to entering politics, Niall worked in the private sector and owned his own consultancy and training business specialising in work safety.
Niall was driven to enter politics after he witnessed scores of what he called ‘knuckle-headed’ decisions made by Sydney-based politicians which hurt regional communities.
Since being appointed Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water in 2015, Niall has focused on building on the success of the previous Nationals ministers in these portfolios, as well as working to assist the state’s primary industries to become more innovative.
In the last two weeks he has steered landmark Biodiversity legislation through the Parliament which will repeal Labor’s hated Native Vegetation Act, along with a once-in-a-generation reform of the state’s Crown Land laws.
Niall is focused on supporting the industries and people that underpin the communities, businesses and economies of regional NSW.
Niall lives in the Southern Highlands with his wife Melinda and son Lachlan.
John and Niall are both committed to delivering for communities across the State, the Members of the Nationals, and the NSW Coalition Government.
Pictured: Deputy Leader Niall Blair and Leader John Barilaro