11 September 2019

Liberal Party selects local businesswoman to contest Eden-Monaro

| Ian Bushnell
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The Liberal Party's Dr Fiona Kotvojs is aiming to become the first female Member for Eden-Monaro. Photo: Supplied

The Liberal Party’s Dr Fiona Kotvojs is aiming to become the first female Member for Eden-Monaro. Photo: Supplied.

The Liberal Party has selected local businesswoman, Dr Fiona Kotvojs, to contest the key federal seat of Eden-Monaro, held by Labor’s Mike Kelly, at the election due in 2019.

South Coast beef farmer and small businesswoman, Dr Fiona Kotvojs will be aiming to become the first woman to represent the one-time bellweather seat after being chosen by a plebiscite of Liberal Party members at the weekend, beating out four other candidates.

Dr Kotvojs joins the fight for Eden-Monaro at a time when many female Liberal MPs have come out against the culture of the Federal parliamentary party and alleged bullying and standover tactics during the recent leadership change, and against the party in general for not selecting more women to stand for Parliament.

The Liberal Party said Dr Kotvojs had outlined a strong vision for the local community, and a desire to bring more local jobs into the region.

She brings strong local links and experience in business and the community to the contest.

Born in Bega and raised on the family farm in Dignams Creek, she lives on the family farm between Narooma and Bega, growing Simmental cattle and truffles.

She started her professional life as a high school teacher, then applied her science qualifications in coastal environments, including Environmental Impact Studies.

Dr Kotvojs has also worked in the private sector to design, manage and evaluate Australian foreign aid programs in Asia-Pacific nations across education, environment, natural resources, agriculture, infrastructure, health, community development, economic governance, as well as law and justice sectors.

As well as managing the family farm, Dr Kotvojs has established two successful small businesses, is a Rural Fire Service volunteer, Anglican Church Property Trustee and Oxfam Australia Director.

She will campaign on more reliable job opportunities and retaining young people in the region.

“From Eden to Yass and Narooma to Tumbarumba, families with children are concerned about job security,” she said. “Our community is calling out for more local job opportunities, reduced seasonality of work in areas dominated by tourism and orchards, and maximizing long-term employment through the great Liberal Government initiative of Snowy 2.0.

“Young people leave our area for work or study and don’t return, and we can change this by reducing red tape and creating better incentives to attract and grow businesses across our region.

“This electorate is better off under the Morrison Coalition Government, which is focused on delivering more jobs, growing the economy and driving down energy costs. More than 16,000 small and medium businesses in Eden-Monaro are benefiting from tax relief introduced by the Coalition Government and opposed by Labor.”

Dr Kotvojs said she has been humbled by the support and trust that the local party members had given her. “I’m looking forward to campaigning every day on the issues that matter to this community – job creation, better support for skill building and upgrading our roads.”

Eden-Monaro is set to become a three-cornered contest, with the National Party calling for potential candidates to nominate.

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Paul Scherek1:29 pm 03 Oct 18

I believe Dr Kotvojs should indeed be her own person, and not just blandly take on the Liberal “Jobs and growth at all costs” mantra. The citizens of Bega Valley have resoundingly opposed a proposed flight school whose proponents claimed that it would bring a lot of jobs to the valley. We citizens love the Bega Valley for what it is, and defend that. There are plenty of busy places in Australia – let’s keep Bega Valley an island of peace in a noisy world.Dr Kotvojs would do well to consider this when she campaigns on a “growth” ticket.

Carol Carmody9:54 am 26 Sep 18

Fiona is a well deserved choice as she is very well known and respected in the electorate. Her experience, wide knowledge of this area and academic qualifications makes her a formidable opponent to take on the Labor candidate and win back balanced economic reform to the Eden Monaro electorate. Fiona is a person of her word, not a consummate politician, and taking on the political world with very fresh eyes is what is already making her so appealing to the voters throughout Eden-Monaro. Congratulations Fiona.

The obvious question is if this region has so many problems and issues as outlined by Fiona, why hasn’t her Party done anything about it for the last five years they have been in Government? First tip Fiona – don’t just read out the head office play book and descend into negativity.

Carol Carmody9:57 am 26 Sep 18

Fiona is her own person. I believe she will do what the electorate is asking of her. She is definitely not a puppet or a shrinking violet.

Nicole studley10:21 am 30 Apr 19

Havent heard much from her in the snowy area ..jindabyne

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