The NSW Nationals will contest the seat of Port Macquarie at the 2023 state election, Deputy Premier John Barilaro says.
A traditional Nationals seat with a strong local connection to the party, Port Macquarie became a Liberal seat when local member Leslie Williams defected in September. It echoed a similar move made by turncoat MP Rob Oakeshott in 2002.
Local grassroots NSW Nationals members have expressed a strong desire to contest the seat, and Mr Barilaro backed them at a media conference in Port Macquarie this week, saying it was only right that the NSW Nationals contest the seat at the next election.
Preselection timelines will be drawn in consultation with local NSW Nationals members.