After two decades in politics, Melinda Pavey won’t contest election in 2023

Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey and Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie.

AFTER more than two decades of dedicated political service, Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey, the longest serving National Party MP in Australia, has announced she will not be recontesting the 2023 NSW State election.

“After eight years as your local Member for Oxley, which followed twelve years in the NSW Upper House, I have decided it’s time to leave the NSW Parliament,” said Mrs Pavey.

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“I’d like to thank you all for your support – it’s been a privilege to represent you.”

Mrs Pavey entered parliament in NSW’s upper house in 2002 before being elected Member for Oxley in 2015.

Pavey also served as minister for water, property and housing from 2019, before a reshuffle in December 2021 excluded her from the newly formed cabinet.

At the time, Pavey said she was “disappointed” by the decision.

In a social media statement released on Sunday, Pavey said it has been “an absolute honour to represent the region”, promising to “continue to work hard on your behalf until my last day in office”.

“Beyond March 2023, I’ll continue to contribute to our communities, as many of you all do,” she said.

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie paid tribute to Pavey’s outstanding contribution to the community and the State of New South Wales.

“Mel Pavey has dedicated 20 years serving our community, and in that time, has been a strong advocate for commonsense,” Dr Gillespie said.

“She has served as a senior Minister in the State Government and was responsible for a number of important portfolios including Roads where she secured a commitment for the State to take back many regional roads that have become too difficult for country councils to maintain.”

Dr Gillespie said that Mrs Pavey’s experience in small business, journalism and in working for two former State Nationals Leader’s Wal Murray and Ian Armstrong had prepared her for state politics.

“Mel has always understood the community’s expectations of government are about delivery and she has always pushed back against bureaucratic red tape and fought for common sense solutions,” Dr Gillespie said.

“Mel has secured a great deal of funding for several projects across the Oxley electorate from road and school upgrades, new hospitals, fire and ambulance stations and community facilities.

“Mel has also been a stalwart of the National Party and was very active both as a party member and as an upper House member in helping to win the seats we needed to return the State Coalition to government in 2011.”

New South Wales Deputy Premier Paul Toole also thanked Pavey for her service, describing her as “a passionate advocate for regional communities”.

“Mel can be proud that her time in the Parliament and as a long-time member of the NSW Nationals team has helped deliver a stronger regional NSW for the next generation,” said Toole.

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