Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman has been promoted to the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s new cabinet as the Minister for Local Government.
Ms Tuckerman takes over from the outgoing Shelley Hancock who served in the role since April 2019. Ms Hancock cited struggling to come to terms with the departure of former Premier Gladys Berejiklian as a major reason for her decision to quit politics.
With a long history in local government, Ms Tuckerman served as the last mayor of the now-defunct Boorowa Shire and as administrator on the newly-formed Hilltops Council.
She had to vacate her position on the Hilltops Council by law in March of this year, after two years of serving as a State Member and councillor.
Ms Tuckerman spoke of the pride in her appointment, still relatively early in her political career at the level.
“It’s come as a surprise, I’m very honoured obviously. It’s a great honour to be recognised for such a position and I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into it and doing what we can,” said Ms Tuckerman.
“It’s not something I’ve had my mind on. Obviously, since 2019 I’ve been very focused on the electorate and serving the communities of the electorate and I’ve really enjoyed that.”
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While still young in her career in state politics, Ms Tuckerman comes from an extensive career in local politics which she believes uniquely positions her to perform in her new role.
“I think it’s going to be a great help. Seventeen years in representing the community in local government, understanding the sector, I think my experience in the role will be well served and that’s what the Premier has certainly discussed with me,” said Ms Tuckerman.
“As the Local Government Minister, I want to really see effective governance across the state, in all positions.”
Ms Tuckerman said that local governments had faced a “really challenging period” courtesy of drought, mice plagues, bushfires and COVID, and suggested that the priority moving forward will be working together to deliver for the communities.
In another addition to the cabinet, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has become the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience.
Ms Cooke is a member of the Nationals and has held the seat of Cootamundra for more than four years.
The pair are a part of the nine new ministers in Mr Perrottet’s cabinet, and will ensure voices from southern NSW are represented in the cabinet.
“I think it’s really important to be sitting at the table, making decisions around how the state moves forward and that’s a great honour to be there, and it’s wonderful to see Steph will be joining the cabinet as well and doing it hand-in-hand, I think it’s really great for the region and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ms Tuckerman.
The most senior woman in government, Nationals Deputy Leader Bronnie Taylor, of Nimmitabel, retained the role of Minister Women and Mental Health and also added a newly established ministry of regional health.