NSW Nationals pick Nichole Overall to contest John Barilaro's seat of Monaro in by-election

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© Provided by ABC NEWS Party leader Paul Toole, says Ms Overall is a straight shooter. (ABC News)

The NSW Nationals Party has announced Nichole Overall as the candidate for Monaro in the upcoming by-election.

Ms Overall, a Queanbeyan-based journalist, author and social historian, will be the first woman member in the seat’s 165-year history if she is successful.

“I am honoured to have been pre-selected today for the Nationals,” Ms Overall said.

“I believe the Nationals are the party that are the closest to the people, they are grassroots, they are about the community and that’s what I have always been about.”

The electorate of Monaro stretches from the ACT to the Victorian Border, encompassing cities including Queanbeyan, Cooma and the NSW snowfields over 20,479 square kilometres.

Ms Overall will contest the by-election for the seat following former party leader John Barilaro’s resignation earlier this month after holding it for 10 years.

She said Mr Barilaro supports her nomination, though he was not present at today’s announcement.

Her campaign will focus on the community’s “emergence from COVID and continued recovery from the bushfires,” she said.

Newly-elected party leader Paul Toole said she was picked uncontested and listed her volunteer work helping the homeless and victims of domestic violence as some of her strengths.

“She actually is a straight shooter,” Mr Toole said.

“She’s someone who does research, there’s no nonsense and she gets on with the job.”

The week has been filled with “major announcements” for the Overall family. She said her husband Tim Overall, the mayor of Queanbeyan for 13 years, would not contest the position in the next local government election.

They have two sons, aged 24 and 22.

The Nationals have held Monaro since John Barilaro won the seat from Labor in 2011. At the last election in 2019, Mr Barilaro experienced a 9.1 per cent swing in his favour— indicating a strong personal vote.

“It’s not lost on me the historic import of being potentially the first female member for Monaro,” Ms Overall said.

“I’d be very proud to hold that position also.”

NSW faces at least four by-elections, in Willoughby, Monaro, Bega and Holsworthy.

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