In July this year, Nationals’ Senator for NSW Fiona Nash celebrated ten years of service in the Australian Senate. Fiona was elected into the Senate in 2004 before starting her term on 1 July 2005. She was appointed Assistant Minister for Health in September 2013 and has been Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate since 2008.
The wealth of opportunities available for those outside major metropolitan centres became apparent to a Sydney-raised Fiona when she moved to Bathurst to study at Mitchell College. After she and husband David moved to Crowther in 1991, she joined the local branch of the National Party.
Fiona’s track record in representing regional Australia is impressive. She has stood her ground firmly on a broad spectrum of regional issues, including her campaign to undo the previous Government’s changes to Youth Allowance that disadvantaged rural students, supporting the blocking of the ADM takeover of Graincorp, changing incentive payments to help get doctors into regional communities and crossing the floor on contentious carbon sink legislation. Fiona is both humbled and grateful for her extended service to the community:
“I would like to thank all my parliamentary colleagues for their support and encouragement over the last 10 years. I have great confidence in the future of regional Australia, and I will be continuing to fight for all of NSW with the same energy and drive that triggered my involvement in politics in the first instance.”
Fiona vows to continue her mission just as she first promised in her maiden speech (2005):
“As a champion of the bush I will always seek to find ways to improve the viability of our rural communities… and I will be completely focused on having the best interests of our rural and regional communities at heart…”