Robyn Preston has been preselected by the Liberal Party to contest the seat of Hawkesbury at the 2019 state election.
A staffer for departing MP Dominic Perrottet as well as a Hills Shire councillor, Ms Preston saw off challenges from Hawkesbury councillors Nathan Zamprogno and Sarah Richards, as well as former Perrottet staffer Dee Zegarac, for the candidacy.
In a statement issued to the Gazette on Tuesday, Ms Preston said she was raised by her mother in western Sydney following the death of her father and learned early about the “value of a strong work ethic and families pulling together”.
A mother-of-two, Ms Preston has had a career spanning private, public and not-for-profit sectors in various senior management, sales and marketing roles.
She has also run her own small business and was Australia’s first female rugby league commercial television commentator.
Ms Preston nominated health and aged care as of particular concern to her, as well as respecting the character of the Hawkesbury region.
“Through my work, I have learned about the Hawkesbury community’s concerns, such as the daily cost of living pressures and the need to support more local jobs,” she said in the statement.
“I have always been eager to help people and as a local government councillor I successfully advocated for a myriad of community needs, including the delivery of better roads and better support for vulnerable people.
“The Berejiklian Government’s strong economic management has meant that we are free of Labor’s debt and can invest in more sporting and recreation facilities for local families, supporting local small businesses to create more jobs and take pressure off families.
“I believe that this is an amazing region, and I want to help get even more things done for the community – with better infrastructure, local services and transport.
“If elected, I will work hard to help ensure that we get the health, aged care and respite services that our community needs, and that our region’s local character is respected.”
Ms Preston also paid tribute to Mr Perrottet for delivering on major infrastructure during his time representing the Hawkesbury.
“I would ... like to thank the Member for Hawkesbury, Dominic Perrottet, for listening to the community and delivering major infrastructure funding, such as the allocation of quarter of a billion for a third river crossing at Richmond/North Richmond, ongoing funding for the Pitt Town Bypass, and supporting Hawkesbury youth with $13m for a new PCYC Centre,” she said.
Mr Perottet was first elected to State Parliament for Castle Hill in 2011, and sought nomination for Hawkesbury after Ray Williams challenged him in the 2014 redistribution.
He announced in September he would not be recontesting Hawkesbury, kicking off a stoush with Mr Williams over the seat of Castle Hill.
A deal brokered by Premier Gladys Berejiklian eventually saw Mr Perrottet agree to withdraw his nomination for Castle Hill in favour of Epping, and he will continue as deputy NSW Liberal Party leader and treasurer.
The Liberals hold Hawkesbury with a margin of 35.6 per cent. The election will be held on March 23, 2019.