The NSW Nationals have announced that Nichole Overall will be its candidate for the upcoming Monaro by-election, following the announcement earlier this month that local MP John Barilaro will retire from politics.
The award-winning author, local historian, and communications professional was preselected by grassroots members to succeed Mr Barilaro, who welcomed Mrs Overall’s preselection this afternoon by saying she is a strong advocate for the region.
“I have known Nichole for many years and over that time I have been left in awe with how dedicated she is to our community,” Mr Barilaro said.
“From her work with the Meals on Wheels Queanbeyan Branch, Headspace Queanbeyan and the Red Cross – Nichole’s passion for helping others is unrivalled.
“In 2020, Nichole was named Monaro Woman of the Year for this very reason. She is always the first person to put her hand up if you need a hand.
“The decision to retire as the Member for Monaro was not an easy one, but I know Nichole is the best candidate for the job – she will take up the fight for the region to ensure the Monaro gets its fair share.”
Mrs Overall has served as Patron of a local support service that for 40 years has provided invaluable assistance to those dealing with domestic violence and abuse and/or experiencing homelessness.
A keen sportswoman, she is also very involved in promoting, supporting, and helping develop women’s football in the Queanbeyan region.
Mrs Overall said she was thrilled and honoured to be given the opportunity to follow in John’s footsteps and contest the seat of Monaro.
“I have long been a vocal advocate for our Queanbeyan-Palerang region, and I’m equally passionate about regional and rural communities across Monaro,” she said.
“If I am elected, my goal will be to ensure the people who are the backbone of these communities are not left behind.
“My commitment to the people of Monaro is to ensure the Nationals in Government continue to build on our ‘push for the bush’, protecting our communities and delivering improved roads, community projects, education, health and social services.
“I’m looking forward to meeting as many people as I can over the course of the campaign and hopefully in the years ahead.”
Deputy Premier and Leader of The NSW Nationals Paul Toole said he was excited about the prospect of working with Mrs Overall.
“I’ve found Nichole to be a straight shooter who will stand up for the communities across the Monaro,” he said.
“I am confident Nichole will carry on John’s record of delivering for all Monaro residents, from Queanbeyan to Jindabyne and everywhere in between.”
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor said Nichole was the perfect choice to continue the hard work of the NSW Nationals in the Monaro.
“Nichole is an outstanding candidate for the NSW Nationals and with her strong passion for the region, I know she will be a powerful voice for the community up in Macquarie Street,” Mrs Taylor said.
“Nichole is a strong voice, she loves the Monaro, and will be a fabulous representative for us all.”
The by-election date is yet to be announced.