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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

So you’ve probably heard of Roy Butler and know a little bit about him, but who are all the other candidates on the ballot in Barwon?

Here’s the list in the order they will appear on the ballot paper. If they have a website or Facebook page we’ve linked it to their name.

CandidatePartyHome Town
ROBERTS-GARNSEY JoshuaLaborNarrabri
BUTLER RoyIndependentMendooran
TURNER AnnetteThe NationalsWhite Cliffs
BRITTON PaulShooters, Fishers and FarmersTerrey Hills
MCBRIDE ThomasPublic Education PartyWoodbine
HOWE StuartIndependentCondobolin
SCHULTZ PatThe GreensArmidale
HARTLEY BenLegalise Cannabis PartyNimbin
Nominated candidates for the electorate of Barwon

We asked all candidates the same 5 questions to give them each an equal opportunity to state their case. We think Ben Hartley of the Legalise Cannabis Party might still be asleep, Stuart Howe has a policy of not making himself available for any media because <insert conspiracy theory here>, and Paul Britton from SFF must have been at the gun club, as they did not respond to the questions. All of the other candidates answers are below, again in the order of the ballot.


Joshua Robert-Garnsey – Labor

Why do you want to be the local member for your electorate?

I have a strong passion for Barwon. I spent every school holiday growing up in Gwabegar (in the electorate) and it’s where my happiest memories are. I moved to Narrabri in 2021 to be a teacher and I have seen this community be diminished by 12 years of inaction. This is the most beautiful, diverse part of NSW and it needs to be adequately represented. I want to be a strong voice for the bush, for Barwon and regional NSW.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the electorate and why?

Whenever I’m out and about, the most important issues are always similar: Cost of living, Education, Housing, Health. People in the regions feel the continuous strain of these fundamental infrastructure being diminished. I spoke to a business owner in Gilgandra who said he felt the outback was dying. If we can’t provide basic services to communities in regional NSW they will leave and head towards major cities – they don’t want to have to do that because they’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle. The space, the fresh air and the clear skies. We need to help accomodate those basic services.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the whole state and why?

The whole state is facing similar problems, education outcomes falling, increasing cost of rent/house prices and the cost of living sky rocketing. We’ve had 12 years of this Lib/Nat coalition who have no interest in making things better for everyon, they are only concerned with what assets they can sell off. We face another 4 years of poor management of the state if we do not vote for a NSW Labor government.

Why do you think someone would vote for you over your opponents?

12 years of this government has shown that they cannot fulfil any of their commitments. If people want something done for Regional NSW and Barwon – they need to vote for a candidate that actually has a seat at the table. Someone who will actually fulfil their commitments and display the level of transparency you would like to see in a politician. This government has proven that it cannot get the job done, they make endless promises unfunded to buy votes, this electorate needs a fresh start.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

I LOVE lego – I own way too much of it and do not plan on stopping any time soon.


Annette Turner – Nationals

Why do you want to be the local member for your electorate?

As a candidate for the NSW Nationals in the Barwon Electorate, I believe that the local community deserves strong representation from someone who was not only born and bred in Barwon but has lived and experienced the issues that people face. That’s how people know that this fight is a personal one for me and shows that I am committed addressing people’s concerns. The people of Barwon are hardworking, resilient and have unique challenges that need to be addressed and I am passionate about advocating for the needs of our community and ensuring that our voices are heard in the collective.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the electorate and why?

I have been on the road for months, putting in the kilometres and talking to every community along the way. From these discussions the most important issue facing our electorate is the need to improve connectivity for our communities. We need to be better connected to the rest of NSW through telecommunications, healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

In terms of telecommunications, many communities in Barwon lack reliable mobile and internet coverage, which can be a barrier to accessing vital health and educational services, running businesses, and staying connected with friends and family. I believe that we need to improve mobile and internet coverage in the region to ensure that all residents have access to essential services and opportunities.

In terms of healthcare, we need to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in regional areas and work towards attracting and retaining doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. This is crucial to ensuring that residents have access to quality healthcare services and can receive the medical attention they need.

Similarly, we need to improve access to education and training opportunities in regional areas. This includes ensuring that schools and TAFEs are adequately resourced and providing students with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce.

Lastly, we need to invest in infrastructure, particularly roads and bridges, to ensure that our region is accessible and connected. This will support businesses and industries, create jobs, and enhance the overall liveability of our communities.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the whole state and why?

At the state level, the most important issue facing NSW is likely the cost-of-living pressures we are facing. To get on top of this in the short term, we need to invest in cost saving measures and expand the 70-ways to save put forward by the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government. This will include energy cost vouchers, gas rebates, additional back to school vouchers and travel cost reductions. I applaud the current programs including the $250 Regional Seniors Travel Card and the $250 Regional Apprentice and University Student Travel Card as these programs think outside the box and target regional communities. As a grandmother, grazier, former dental nurse, and NSW State President of the CWA, I know my experience will allow me to use my voice to bring fresh ideas into these programs as I have been advocating for change all my life.

Why do you think someone would vote for you over your opponents?

I believe that voters in Barwon will choose me over my opponents because of my strong track record of community service, and my commitment to listening to and addressing the needs of local families. I understand the challenges that people in our region face and am passionate about working to improve their lives and for me, who you vote for will be the same as who I am in Parliament.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

Something that most people don’t know about me is that I have lived in Barwon all my life. I was born in Broken Hill and have raised my three children in White Cliffs on our family farm where I have lived with my husband Barry for over 40 years.


Tom McBride – Public Education Party

Why do you want to be the local member for your electorate?

I have lived and worked in the electorate in the past.  Many of the issues, I faced as a young Deputy Principal at Nyngan CS remain today, especially regarding the resourcing of public schools and colleges.  The erosion of children’s learning outcomes is the direct result of successive govt’s neglect.  I believe that a Public Education Party candidate elected to the NSW Parliament can add intellect and rigour to the debates around Education.  S/he can advocate for the majority of children and young people in NSW who attend public schools.  The wealthy independent schools have been allowed to dominate and attract more finds than they need.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the electorate and why?

Apart from Public Education, the bedrock of a productive and fair society; access to medical and associated health professionals, employment and threats to agriculture, transport.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the whole state and why?

Cost of living – increased mortgages, food, power.

Why do you think someone would vote for you over your opponents?

I have worked in an honourable profession for decades and understand the complex challenges of regional communities.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

I became a teacher when I was 18 yrs old.  I was appointed to Garah Central School where I taught K, Yr1 and Yr 2 in one classroom.  I am proud to say that they were all reading well by the end of the year.  Some of the older students were just one year younger than me.


Pat Schultz – Greens

Why do you want to be the local member for your electorate?

I am standing as a candidate because I strongly believe that The Greens policies on health, education, climate change, housing, Aboriginal issues, and agriculture are needed to improve the livelihood of Barwon’s residents.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the electorate and why?

If elected I would fight for improved health services, which is probably the number one major issue for Barwon. The elected State government on 25th March must take action to increase the number of doctors and other health professionals. Rural people have shorter life expectations than city people.

Housing is also a major issue, especially for First Nations People. The Greens are focussed on increasing social housing, and on making no-grounds eviction of tenants much more difficult.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the whole state and why?

Climate action is urgently required across NSW and Australia. We need Greens in parliament to ensure we take the urgent action required.

This is also partly why I have supported farmers and First Nations people in their efforts to stop coal seam gas and the pipeline from their land over the last 11 years. This helps prevent climate change as CSG is not a transition fuel, it is a potent greenhouse gas. However, there are other issues with CSG. Aquifer contamination has already occurred and the ongoing risk to ground water is unacceptable. The destruction of The Pilliga, and other CSG-related clearing will cause further extinction of endangered species. Currently no farmland, no matter how valuable, is safe from CSG.

Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate change effects.  Farmers and outback communities are often the first to suffer the consequences of inaction. Floods, fires and extreme weather events are happening now. Farmers could benefit from financial incentives to mitigate climate change effects.

Why do you think someone would vote for you over your opponents?

Voting for a Greens candidate ensures fair representation because the Greens are the only party that do not accept corporate donations. If you vote for us in the Upper and Lower house you would not just be voting for me, you would be voting for the Greens team who work very hard for their communities, for the more vulnerable and for the environment. Sue Higgison MLC, an environmental lawyer and dryland rice farmer, has supported me greatly with my CSG work in the Pilliga. Cate Faehrmann, who has led many successful campaigns against dangerous environmental laws that impact our forests and rivers, and Amanda Cohen, a general practitioner and former Albury mayor, are listed first and second for the Greens for the NSW Upper House. These two upper house candidates have also been active in health care. They have been demanding equal access to medical treatment for all, and supporting nurses and midwives in mandating how many patients they can safely support. Lynda-June Coe is also an Upper House candidate, is a proud Wiradjuri woman, a former teacher and a powerful campaigner on many First Nations issues. This includes her work as campaign Manager for the Dhadjowa Foundation supporting First Nations families impacted by deaths in custody and for other campaigns such as ‘Water is Life’ Climate Action, Black Lives Matter and stopping the forced removal of Aboriginal children.

Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know.

I settled in Gunnedah with my family on arriving in Australia from Scotland. I also attended WeeWaa High School, and then Gunnedah High School. My husband was a small business owner for 50 years, and I did the book-keeping. At times we earned less than the employees. We had a farm property and bred cattle. I have lived through droughts, where had to choose between not feeding our stock and selling up at a loss. I have worked as a nurse, managed youth services and intellectual disability housing services. I have worked as a community mental health support worker. I am currently a support person for a Barwon resident with a chronic illness, traveling to accompany them for medical treatment. This has given me great insight to the difficulties faced by Barwon residents in meeting medical needs, and the many kilometres travelled to see a specialist. My life experience is broad, and if elected I will represent all constituents equally.


Election Day is March 25, and prepoll is open now. Find a voting booth near you here: https://elections.nsw.gov.au/district-profiles/barwon