Re-elected MP Kate Washington thanks the people of Port Stephens for their support

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington visited the Tea Gardens Hotel on Thursday to express her thanks for voting support.

INCUMBENT Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, who was successfully re-elected with 54 percent of first preference votes, remained characteristically unassuming in her gratitude to the electorate in Tea Gardens this week.

“I am genuinely humbled, particularly by the response in the area, from Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, North Arm Cove and all in between,” Ms Washington told News Of The Area.

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“The level of support I have seen has surprised me, and I want people to know that I will always be available and accessible; my first job is to this community, in this electorate,” Ms Washington keenly stated.

That support was clearly apparent, as several locals at the Tea Gardens Hotel on Thursday greeted her with warm congratulations.

Ms Washington received an impressive two-candidate-preferred majority of 71.38 percent, more than double her nearest competitor, according to the NSW Electoral Commission.

“My first priorities (locally) are roads and the dredge,” Ms Washington stated.

“Local roads funding is a big priority, the highway intersection (Myall Way) is still on the agenda, and I will continue that conversation with (MidCoast) council,” Ms Washington told NOTA.

Regarding the Myall River dredging, Ms Washington said, “There needs to be a long-term solution, and now that we are in government, I can use that to push for these things locally.”

Speaking more broadly, Ms Washington named health, schools, housing and jobs as key areas of attention for the new government.

“Our hospitals and paramedics are understaffed and under-resourced, and we need to rebuild the foundations of the education system that have eroded over the last twelve years of the former government,” Ms Washington declared.

“Housing has become a tight market, impacting local families,” Ms Washington continued, and recognised the clear link between housing and employment, highlighting Labor’s election promise of the introduction of Manufacturing Centres of Excellence at Hunter TAFE, “to bring productive industries back to NSW”.

Ms Washington is, at the time of printing, joining the caucus meeting in Sydney, to determine her specific role in the new government.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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