The Hon. Ian Armstrong AM OBE – former NSW Deputy Premier and Leader of the NSW Nationals – has sadly passed away.
A proud son of the bush and a fierce advocate for regional communities, Mr Armstrong served his community as Member for Lachlan for more than 25 years from 1981 to 2007, and was Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs from 1988 until 1993, when he became Deputy Premier, a position he held until 1995.
Mr Armstrong was a husband, father, farmer and grazier, with a lot of time for the community, serving with many organisations over the years including Cowra Lions Club, the Cattle Council of Australia, the Australian Stock Horse Society, the Working Kelpie Council of Australia, Cowra Gun Club, Rural Youth Organisation of NSW, and various show and several service, citizen and sporting clubs.
This proud record of service did not go unnoticed; Mr Armstrong was admitted to the Order of the British Empire in 1978 for services to Primary Industry, was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001, and was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009.
NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro said Mr Armstrong embodied what it was to be a rural advocate, having been responsible for ensuring public servants work in the regional communities they represent and relocating the Department of Agriculture to Orange in 1992, the single largest decentralisation process undertaken by a government department.
“The list of community organisations and boards he volunteered for during his lifetime was significant, signifying a life dedicated to serving and representing regional people,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Despite his substantive contributions as a Minister and as Deputy Premier, his commitment to his electorate of Lachlan never wavered and the area still benefits from his legacy as local member.
“Ian will be dearly missed and his tireless work for the people of NSW and to the NSW Nationals will live on forever.
“Our condolences to his family and to all the people touched by the life of this remarkable person.”
The NSW Government has offered a state service to the family.