Understandably, the new Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, has mixed emotions about the recent Federal election.
Gilmore bucked the national trend and voted in the Labor candidate with
a 3.6 per cent swing, but a much predicted win for her party didn’t eventuate nationally.
“I’m honoured the people of Gilmore chose me for their representative,” says Ms Phillips.
“I will fight hard for the Government to honour its promises to our electorate.
“Unfortunately they only matched us in a few areas, so it is disappointing that I won’t be able to deliver on some key Labor promises.”
She is particularly disappointed the Government didn’t commit to getting fair funding for local schools, and what she sees as their lack of policies on the environment.
Campaigning since the previous election, when she lost to Ann Sudmalis by a razor thin margin, served Ms Phillips well.
“People were trying to work out who the other candidates were.
“I was a real local, campaigning on local issues.”
She also had the support of over 600 volunteers.
“We made over 50,000 door knocks and phone calls, so that helped dissipate the scare campaign.”
At time of writing, the seat has not been officially declared. Once this happens, after postal votes are counted, Ms Phillips’ transition into an Member of Parliament will begin.
She’ll be basing herself in the office formerly occupied by Ms Sudmalis in Berry St, Nowra.
“I’m proud that the daughter of a local dairy farmer, educated in and living in the area, can become a Member of Parliament,” says Ms Phillips.
“I want to be continue to be engaged with the local community and be a member that people can talk to.
“I’ve already received a number of invitations from organisations and groups, and I am keen to do what I can to help.
“I’ll always be a local fighting for other locals.”