The NSW Liberals have announced their candidate who will try to take back the seat of Eden-Monaro.
Cooma local Joanne van der Plaat will take on Kristy McBain at the next federal election, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.
The current cost-of-living pressure appears to be a key issue the Liberals will take to the upcoming election, with Ms van der Plaat stating regional communities were facing challenges due to “Labor’s economic mismanagement” and “lack of strategic direction” for smaller areas.
“Instead of providing cost-of-living relief for households, the Labor Government has added to their burden,” she said.
”As costs spiral – from mortgages to rent, groceries to electricity and petrol – this Government has been focused on the wrong priorities.
“Eden-Monaro has suffered as a result, with our towns and villages struggling to cope with the extra cost burdens.
“I am committed to fighting for the needs of our electorate, from the South Coast to the Snowy Mountains, up the Barton, down the Kings and on the Monaro.”
Ms van der Plaat pointed to her local networks and leadership experience as tools she would use to deliver infrastructure and services for the region.
“I will fight for more investment in our regional road and communications network, and improving local health services and amenities to ensure that Eden-Monaro is the best place to live, work and raise a family,” she said.
Ms van der Plaat attended Monaro High and has practised law locally for more than 20 years, living on a small farm with her husband and two children.
She’s the immediate past president of the Law Society of NSW and a member of the Dry Plains/Wambrook Rural Fire Brigade.
Her other former local positions include being a board member of St Patrick’s Parish School, vice-president of Snowy’s Place and a director of a Cooma community aged-care facility.
She argued the Coalition had delivered for Eden-Monaro and regional Australia in the past and was ready to do so again.
“The Liberal team will help our communities through these tough times. We need to lower energy bills and curb inflation,” Ms van der Plaat said.
Parties are steadily starting to pre-select their candidates in seats across the country, with the window for the next federal election between early August 2024 and mid-May 2025.
Kristy McBain won the Eden-Monaro seat following a by-election in 2020, taking over from Mike Kelly, who retired from politics due to health reasons.
She’s the first woman to hold the seat, which was won with a margin of 0.8 per cent.