Grassroots campaign mobilizes for teal push at NSW election

Perrottet’s government will be seeking fresh candidates of its own to run in next year’s poll, with another MP joining the growing list of government members bowing out of politics after the election.

The state’s longest serving Nationals MP Melinda Pavey on Sunday said she had been considering her future in politics ever since she lost the water, property and housing portfolio in Perrottet’s cabinet reshuffle last year.

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“That was a shock because we were doing such great work in the portfolio, we had the support of the stakeholders…when that happened it was really hard to accept,” she said.

“Let’s not pretend politics is an easy career. It’s grueling and grinding – a tough, brutal existence for men and women. But I’m not cutting and running. This is not retirement, it’s just the next phase. And I’m still in parliament for another six months.”

Pavey joins fellow Nationals MPs Stephen Bromhead and Chris Gulaptis, who will not contest next year’s election. Customer Service and Digital Minister Victor Dominello, Corrections Minister Geoff Lee, former attorney-general Gabrielle Upton and Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly have also announced they will bid farewell to Macquarie Street.

Perrottet on Sunday said renewal in politics was inevitable because it was a difficult and challenging profession, commending Pavey on her commitment to the state and her electorate over two decades across both houses of parliament.

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Northern Sydney locals that gathered over beers and fizzy drinks on Sunday said they were charged by a shared discontent over urban planning, green space and transparency in government.

A community listening board laden with post-it notes carried handwritten messages to “fix the planning system,” “bring back sustainable development” and “care about the community, not the party!” Another simply read: “integrity, integrity, integrity.”

Roberts on Sunday told the herald he stood strongly on his record and looked forward to a state campaign canvassing a range of community views.

“We can’t switch over to renewables tomorrow, unless they want to live in the dark. There must be a transition. I stand very strongly on my record and I welcome grassroots democracy,” he said.

North Sydney Independents co-founder Denise Shrivell said the organization was in communication with Simon Holmes à Court’s Climate 200 group, which backed Tink and other successful teal candidates. She said the group would welcome any funding in line with stricter electoral funding laws that apply at a state level.

Shrivell added that optional preferential voting in state elections would also make it more challenging to emulate the success of the federal campaigns, where many community independents relied on preferences to get them over the line.

North Sydney Independents will also consider supporting candidates against Felicity Wilson in North Shore and Tim James in Willoughby, where independent Larissa Penn is yet to announce if she will run again after she contributed to a 19 per cent swing against the government in the February by election triggered by Berejiklian’s resignation.

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