Andrew Stoner: Extraordinary leader, lasting legacy
Leader of the Government and Leader of the National Party in the Upper House Duncan Gay today paid tribute to his colleague and good friend Andrew Stoner, who has announced his retirement from NSW politics.
Mr Gay said Mr Stoner would leave a strong and lasting legacy for the people of NSW.
“Andrew Stoner was first elected to Parliament as the Nationals Member for Oxley in 1999 and was elected Leader of the NSW Nationals in March 2003,” Mr Gay said.
“The Liberals and Nationals romped home at the 2011 State election, unseating the Labor government of 16 years and helping the ‘Nats’ take 18 of the 20 seats it contested in regional NSW – and went on to make sure we won Northern Tablelands last year.
“As Deputy Premier and Leader of the Nationals, Andrew spearheaded many critical rural and regional initiatives to ensure the stability of this great state well into the future.
“Andrew will be greatly remembered for his passion and dedication to the people of regional NSW – helping lead the government to deliver record regional funding since coming into office.
“In particular, Andrew’s exceptional leadership qualities have seen him fast track projects to quickly turn around years of Labor neglect and get country NSW back on track.
“Andrew was instrumental in reaching a decision on the leasing of poles and wires to ensure increased investment for infrastructure for regional NSW.
“He fought gallantly to secure additional funds for upgrades of the Pacific, Newell, Silver, Golden, Kings Highways and the Bells Line of Road.
“He was also a stalwart crusader in the establishment of Restart NSW, a dedicated infrastructure fund providing a massive funding boost for the roads, hospitals, rail lines and dams of NSW.
“He was a grass roots leader – in his element and most comfortable when engaging with the people and communities of country NSW.
“I wish Andrew, his wife Cathy and their family all the happiness in the next chapter of their lives outside of politics.
“May he surf waves that are glassy and smooth, with an offshore wind – the perfect way to spend the next chapter.”
MEDIA: Emma Higginson 0467 743 192 or Siobhan McCarthy 0407 791 802
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