31 March 2023

Former minister Bronnie Taylor holds concerns for regional health

| Gail Eastaway
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Bronnie Taylor

Former NSW Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor is concerned regional NSW will be ignored by the new Labor Government. Photo: File.

Outgoing Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor is understandably disappointed with the 2023 NSW election results.

Mrs Taylor was the first woman to be appointed deputy leader of the Nationals and was the most senior female politician in the NSW Liberal/Nationals Government.

While she has been re-elected to the Legislative Council, she is concerned the work she has put into her portfolios will be lost under the new Labor administration.

However, Mrs Taylor said she was looking forward to working with new Health Minister Ryan Park and sharing with him the list of work which is still to be done.

She said Labor was unlikely to continue with a Regional Health portfolio, which was disappointing because regional health was such an important matter in NSW.

“I just hope they don’t concentrate solely on Western Sydney and ignore the rural areas,” she said.

“There is so much more that needs to be done.”

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In recent months, Mrs Taylor announced a number of initiatives to support regional health, including funding for the Currawarna Assisted Living project and Bombala Multi-Purpose Service in Bombala and was able to officially open the new maternity unit at Cooma Hospital, as well as the sod-turning for worker accommodation at the hospital.

She also announced funding for a new, enlarged ambulance station for Jindabyne.

Mrs Taylor became a member of the Legislative Council at the 2015 state election.

She had previously been deputy mayor of Cooma Monaro Shire Council after being elected to council in 2010.

Prior to her political life, Mrs Taylor was a palliative and oncology nurse and was one of the original clinical nurse consultants appointed for the McGrath Foundation. Mrs Taylor then worked for NSW Health until June 2014.

She worked with local community members to ensure the creation of an oncology ward at Cooma Hospital, a service which has become essential for many Monaro residents requiring cancer treatment.

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Her final nursing appointment before entering parliament was as director of cancer services for the Southern New South Wales Local Health District.

Mrs Taylor previously served on several standing committees, having been the chair of the Standing Committee on Social Issues, and previously sat on the Joint Select Committee of Companion Animal Breeding Practices in New South Wales.

On August 25, 2016, Mrs Taylor was appointed to the position of parliamentary secretary for Southern NSW and Regional Communications. Following the 2019 state election, Mrs Taylor was appointed as the minister for mental health, regional youth and women in the second Berejiklian ministry; and in December 2021, her portfolios were changed to minister for women, minister for regional health, and minister for mental health.

Mrs Taylor is one of six Coalition members to be re-elected to the Upper House.

While the Coalition does not have control of the Upper House, Mrs Taylor said she and her colleagues would still be holding the government “to account”.

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