Former Gunnedah Mayor Adam Marshall will be sworn in as the new State Member for Northern Tablelands on Thursday, following his sweeping victory in the by-election over the weekend.
The 28-year-old secured a massive 60 per cent of the primary vote on Saturday night – a swing of more than 30 per cent to the Nationals.
The election was called after the shock resignation of former State MP Richard Torbay, who held the seat for 14 years.
“I was extremely humbled by the result and support and very determined to repay the trust and confidence put in me by the voters,” Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall, who attended Gunnedah South Public School, said he has always had an interest in and passion for politics.
He said his role as Gunnedah Deputy Mayor and eventually Mayor, helped “fuel that passion,” claiming he loves nothing more than representing people on issues that matter in country communities.
His stint in Gunnedah Shire Council’s top job provided an important platform for his foray into state politics.
“Gunnedah has given me so much. It’s a fantastic community with so much potential so it was a real privilege and honour to serve in that role and one that I will never forget.”
A swag of Gunnedah residents and supporters made the trip to the Northern Tablelands on Saturday to support Adam and hand out flyers at polling booths.
His mother Sue Marshall and grandmother Ros Thomson, who both reside in Gunnedah, were there on election day and night, along with his father Geoff who is a former Gunnedah Mayor.
“I’m very proud. He’s worked really hard for it and I think he’ll do a terrific job,” mother Sue said.
Sue said Adam has always loved politics since he was “little,” and was voted by his Year 12 peers at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School as the person most likely to be Australian Prime Minister.
“He researches, he talks to people. He can talk to anybody and he always gives 110 per cent,” she said.
Mr Marshall said the response from the Gunnedah community was “amazing,” and he has received countless messages of support.
“My inbox has been inundated with text messages, emails and phone calls. There are close to 200 messages
and I am gradually getting through them.”
At 28, Mr Marshall will be the youngest member of the NSW Legislative Assembly, joining fellow National Sarah Mitchell, also from Gunnedah, who at 31 is the youngest member of the Legislative Council.
Having entered Local Government in his early 20s, he said he knows what it’s like to be the youngest and have the “eyes on you,” however he believes he will be more determined to work harder and smarter.
“I’ve been around long enough to know age is not an issue.
“It’s your actions, attitudes and the way in which you carry out your duties that matters.
“I’ll keep doing what I’ve always done, and that’s working as hard as I can.”
Asked whether Mr Marshall will be towing the party line, he said his agenda will only be driven by communities in the Northern Tablelands.
“There will be issues in my electorate that will require me to be vocal and outspoken and I’m more than willing to do that.”
After finishing Year 6 at Gunnedah South, Mr Marshall boarded
at Tamworth’s Farrer High School
where he completed his secondary studies.
He went on to work for former Independent Tamworth MP Peter Draper, before taking up a position in Gunnedah at the Namoi Valley Independent as a sports and news journalist.
He was elected to council at just 19, became Deputy Mayor at 22 and was Mayor at 23 – the youngest Mayor in the State at that time.
Current Mayor Owen Hasler offered his congratulations.
“I believe most residents in Gunnedah Shire would be equally proud of the fact that a young man, born
and bred in Gunnedah, who gained much prominence and many of his political skills during his nine years serving as a Gunnedah Shire councillor, should be elected to the
NSW Parliament with such an outstanding vote of confidence,” Cr Hasler said.
“May I extend the congratulations of Gunnedah Shire councillors and staff on the success of his campaign to re-gain the seat of Northern Tablelands for the Nationals.
“I believe that we will see his career in the state sphere replicate that of his achievements in the local government area given his expertise, commitment and obvious rapport with the electorate.”