Nats re-elect Walsh, Ryan to top roles

The Nationals relects its current leadership team


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The Victorian Nationals re-elect Walsh, Ryan, as leaders

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IN WAITING: Jaclyn Symes, Northern Victorian Labor MP, is expected to be the State's next Agriculture Minister. The government is waiting on the declaration of the poll.

IN WAITING: Jaclyn Symes, Northern Victorian Labor MP, is expected to be the State's next Agriculture Minister. The government is waiting on the declaration of the poll.

The Victorian Parliamentary Nationals Party has re-elected Peter Walsh as its leader and Steph Ryan as deputy.

STABLE TEAM: Peter Walsh, Murray Plains MP, has been re-elected The Nationals Parliamentary leader, with Steph Ryan, Euroa MP, as deputy.

STABLE TEAM: Peter Walsh, Murray Plains MP, has been re-elected The Nationals Parliamentary leader, with Steph Ryan, Euroa MP, as deputy.

Both positions were uncontested.

Mr Walsh said The Nationals would continue to work with communities, to give them a strong voice in Parliament and put regional issues onto the government’s agenda.

“I’m very grateful for the endorsement from my colleagues and am looking forward to getting back to work for Victoria’s rural and regional communities,” Mr Walsh said.

He said Ms Ryan's dedication and hard work over the past four years, both as a first term MP and as deputy leader, was reflected in the increased support from her community and the ongoing support from her parliamentary colleagues.

Ms Ryan, Euroa, won 65.46 per cent of the two party preferred vote, with The Nationals taking nearly 5pc of the overall lower house vote.

“With Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government now even more dominated by city-based MPs, The Nationals will be working even harder to make sure the interests of country Victorians, who have put their faith in us to represent them, are heard in the state parliament,” Mr Walsh said.

But The Nationals lost Mildura, held by Peter Crisp for 12 years, to independent Ali Cupper by 254 votes; it was also likely Labor’s Sarah De Santis would win the seat of Ripon, from the Liberal’s Louise Staley. 

The final distribution of preferences from the Victorian Electoral Commission showed Ms De Santis received 31 more votes than the Liberal Party’s Louise Staley.

Meanwhile, the State Government is still awaiting on the declaration of the poll, before confirming Northern Victorian MP Jaclyn Symes will take up the Agriculture portfolio.

Ms Symes grew up in Benalla, before undertaking a Bachelor of Law from Deakin University.

She was admitted to practice as an Australian lawyer in 2006.

She has also worked with people with disabilities and as industrial officer at the Australian Services Union.

She was first elected to parliament in 2014.

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