Liesl Tesch (second from left), Opposition leader Luke Foley (centre) and The Entrance MP David Harris (far right) celebrate victory last night.
The seat of Gosford has gone from the most marginal in the state to a safe electorate, following yesterday’s by-election which Labor won comfortably.
Former Parlympian and Woy Woy schoolteacher Liesl Tesch will become the newest member for the Central Coast, after winning more than half of the vote on first preferences, compared to Liberal challenger Jilly Pilon’s 30%.
“I am honored to have been elected to represent Gosford in the State Parliament,” said Ms Tesch at Everglades country club last night following the win.
“The Central Coast and Gosford have been neglected by Liberal Governments for years. I will do all in my power to keep the Government accountable for the decisions they make that affect the lives of people on the Central Coast.”
The outright win represents an 11.5% swing toward the Labor party from the 2015 election, when Kathy Smith won the seat by just over 200 votes.
Among Labor’s promises during the campaign were:
- A $100 million “Central Coast Advantage fund” to encourage businesses to invest in the Central Coast
- $10 million each for a nurse walk-in centre at Gosford and a Job Action Plan to refurbish regional centres across the region
- A Service NSW Centre and rail underpass at Woy Woy
- Restoring TAFE funding
It’s worth noting many of these promises can only be fulfilled if Labor wins government in 2019.
Wyong MP and Shadow Minister for the Central Coast David Harris says he also expects the Liberal Party to uphold its election promises for the region, despite their defeat.
“Today’s (sic) victory demonstrates the government has to take the Central Coast far more seriously,” Mr Harris said last night.
“They’re the current government, so they have to commit to the 40k zone at Point Clare, and the $23 million for road funding: They can’t punish the community just because they’ve elected Liesl.”
Further south, the government retained the seats of Manly and North Shore, with James Griffin set to become the new MP for the former seat previously held by Premier Mike Baird.