The boy from Uranquinty becomes newest Nationals MP
Last Thursday, Wes Fang was elected by Nationals representation from right across NSW to fill the shoes of the retiring Duncan Gay, becoming the newest member of NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council.
Wes was born and bred in the Riverina, and after years as a successful pilot in the Australian army, moved back to Wagga Wagga to raise his young family with wife and paediatrician Natalie in a country community with the values and environment they both enjoyed as children.
Wes was raised in the small town of Uranquinty and attended Mount Austin High School in Wagga Wagga before he went on to study a Bachelor of Aviation at the University of New South Wales. After spending time in the army, he worked with Telstra Child Flight as a rescue helicopter pilot. It was his army training, as he stated in his pre-selection speech, that provided him with the invaluable skills of leadership and collaboration.
Returning to Wagga Wagga he became a small business owner and community leader, as a Director of the Wagga Wagga Business Chamber and founding the Wagga Wagga Ratepayers Community, which successfully advocated for better conditions and representation for the community at local government level. Wes joined the Nationals in 2010 and quickly became a highly active member, elected Chairman of the Riverina Electorate Council in 2011 – a mere year after first joining – and has worked as a volunteer on campaigns across the state.
Wes’ election to the Legislative Council was announced on Thursday by Leader and Deputy Leader of the NSW Nationals John Barilaro and Niall Blair, with John noting Wes’ long commitment to the National Party and its values.
“Put simply, Mr Fang and the Nationals share the same values, and I know he will continue to work hard to represent the interests of families, businesses and local community groups in regional NSW,” he said.
“We know what we stand for, and we know the type of people we want on our team.”
These sentiments were echoed by Niall, who highlighted Wes’s enthusiasm for the area he was raised in.
“Wes has been a dedicated member of the Party and worked hard to represent regional NSW, I know he will continue to do so, particularly in the south of NSW where he is based,” he said.
Wes will be the first Member of the Legislative Council from the South-West of NSW elected by the Nationals in 20 years. The Riverina local is particularly keen to see his local communities better represented noting the region’s significance to both the Party and the state.
Wes will fill the casual vacancy left by the retirement of the eminent Duncan Gay and will be sworn into his role when Parliament returns in August. Duncan Gay served for 29 years in the Legislative Council and six years as Minister for Roads (the longest serving in the state) where he oversaw the biggest investment into roads, waterways and freight infrastructure in the state’s history.
Image L to R: Deputy Premier and Leader of NSW Nationals John Barilaro, Wes Fang, Minister for Small Business and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack and Deputy Leader of NSW Nationals Niall Blair MLC.