NSW Labor has leapt into campaign mode on the South Coast with candidates in two key seats preselected a year out from the March 2015 state election.
Nowra pool campaigner Fiona Phillips has been preselected for South Coast, joining Glenn Kolomeitz, who is the candidate for Kiama.
Mrs Phillips built a profile for herself through the successful campaign to save Nowra Pool and during an unsuccessful tilt for a seat on Shoalhaven City Council during the 2012 local government election.
She said the decision to pre-
select candidates so early was a change of strategy within the party that had in the past left the process to quite late in the run-up to elections.
“It was a deliberate change within the party that came from branch member recommendations,” she said.
Mrs Phillips will be taking on longstanding Liberal incumbent Shelley Hancock, who is Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly.
Mrs Hancock has been heavily criticised in the Bay and Basin over the failure to provide a 24-hour police station in the area.
However, Mrs Phillips said she had yet to get confirmation from the Labor Party that it would commit to building and staffing the station.
“I will be lobbying very strongly for a commitment to the Bay and Basin police station,” she said.
She said she would be targeting swinging voters concerned about cuts to education, health, community services.
“I think there is a lot of discomfort out there in the community. People want good, alternative choices in who they can vote for.
“I know there is a general rule that there is a 20 per cent lead for the incumbent so I will going after people who should be voting Labor.”
She said there was much work to do be done to restore faith in Labor after the wave of corruption scandals.
“Obviously, I deplore the corruption. It’s been shocking. Individual candidates need to be good role models and that’s what I aim to be – a good role model.
“It doesn’t matter what side of politics, there’ll be individuals who do the wrong thing. No party is exempt from that.”