31 March 2023

Liberal's Tuckerman holds Goulburn, Pilbrow concedes he can't win

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Wendy Tuckerman making announcement

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman with Member for Wahroonga Alister Henskens and Greg Weekes, MPA President, at the announcement at the Murrumbatemen Recreational Grounds. Photo: Murrumbateman Progress Association.

After almost a week of counting and with the slimmest of margins dividing the candidates, Labor’s Michael Pilbrow has conceded he won’t take the seat of Goulburn from the incumbent, Liberal Wendy Tuckerman.

Ms Tuckerman is ahead of Labor’s Michael Pilbrow by just over 400 votes with 78.8 per cent of the vote counted, a slim margin but one that’s held steady throughout counting for several days.

Despite a 2.6 per cent swing towards Labor, the sitting member has garnered 50.5 per cent of the vote on preferences, enough to see the former Local Government minister elected.

Three thousand postal votes remain to be counted, but trends look unlikely to change substantially.

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Ms Tuckerman was also ahead on first preferences, garnering 40.6 per cent of the vote in a field of six that included candidates from the Greens, Shooters Fishers and Farmers and the Sustainable Australia Party. Mr Pilbrow received 36.3 per cent of first preferences.

“As the counting continues, it has become clear that Labor will not win the seat of Goulburn”, Mr Pilbrow said in a statement on Friday afternoon (31 March).

“I called Wendy Tuckerman this afternoon and congratulated her and wished her well as the re-elected member for our community.

“While I am disappointed, I am also incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to run as the Labor candidate for Goulburn and am humbled by all of the support I received throughout our campaign.”

Mr Pilbrow said he was proud of the commitments secured for the Goulburn community under a NSW Labor government, including security for Yass water and a path to reopening Wakefield Park.

He thanked family, friends, volunteers and supporters and said he would continue to be an advocate for the Goulburn electorate.

Although Labor recorded substantial swings across much of NSW, including southern regions, what looked like a landslide on election night has not materialised and new Premier Chris Minns is still three seats short of a majority.

“From every angle, it looks like we have retained the seat, so I am really pleased and honoured to continue in my role as the member for Goulburn and representing all people in the electorate,” Ms Tuckerman told the ABC.

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Formerly the mayor of Boorowa, Ms Tuckerman inherited the seat from Pru Goward in 2019. A redistribution to the east made the seat less certain, causing the notional margin to slip to 3.1 per cent.

The electorate covers communities from Berrima to Yass, centring Goulburn, and stretches north to include the Southern Highland communities of Moss Vale and Robertson in Wingecarribee Shire.

The Liberal leadership will be contested in a ballot after former Premier Dominic Perrottet resigned and leading contender Matt Keane indicated he would not run. Member for Wahroonga Alister Henskens (pictured above with Ms Tuckerman) is among several candidates for the role.

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