Mark Coulton's re-election as member for Parkes has been met with enthusiasm by acting Gunnedah mayor Rob Hooke and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, but one local leader is more sceptical.
Gunnedah Chamber of Commerce president Stacey Cooke said she believed Mr Coulton had been re-elected "solely on reputation - not necessarily policy" and the group would be pushing for more business-friendly action.
However, "A positive is that Mark does know the electorate and understands some of our issues already."
Mrs Cooke said the "election race was really a non-event" and "the other candidates really didn't put up much of a fight".
But she hoped having Nationals at both state and federal level would "provide leverage for regional NSW to have a strong voice in parliament" and the chamber would be "holding Mark to his election promise to deliver lower taxes for small business".
It would also push for "immediate financial supports for small businesses in drought-declared regions" through project-specific grants, more accessible loans, tax and super incentives for small business, and investment in tertiary education and training "to provide opportunities for young people to stay and build lives in regional Australia".
Cr Hooke said the council was "relieved" to see Mr Coulton re-elected because of his aid in delivering drought and infrastructure funds.
Mr Anderson said Mr Coulton had a good "understanding" of Gunnedah and the region, and they had a "strong working relationship".
"I stood on the Gunnedah Town Hall booth for him on Saturday for that specific reason: because I wanted to keep continuity, I wanted the stability and to work on the problems together," Mr Anderson said.
"The big one we are continually talking together about is drought, and what can we do to provide targeted support and assistance to farmers that need it?"
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