San Souci resident Nathaniel Smith wins preselection contest

Nathaniel Smith is the newly-endorsed Liberal candidate for the state seat of Wollondilly. Mr Smith is married to Christine and has two daughters Charlotte and Chloe.
Nathaniel Smith is the newly-endorsed Liberal candidate for the state seat of Wollondilly. Mr Smith is married to Christine and has two daughters Charlotte and Chloe.

The Liberal Party has selected a San Souci resident to contest the state seat of Wollondilly.

Nathaniel Smith, who is the son of former NSW attorney-general Greg Smith, won the preselection vote on Saturday, June 30.

Mr Smith beat Penny Fischer, a former Camden councillor and the daughter of Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward.

Ultra-marathon runner and former Macarthur MP Pat Farmer also lost out to Mr Smith – who lives about 80 kilometres from Wollondilly.

The Liberal candidate, who works in the office of Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, hoped to follow the footsteps of retiring Wollondilly Liberal MP Jai Rowell.

The former Kogragh councillor secured 27 votes from the state executive of the Liberal Party to Ms Fischer’s 15 votes and Mr Farmer’s nine votes. Mount Annan business owner Josephine Byrnes-Luna received three votes.

Mr Smith said he had a “vision for the Wollondilly community” and would fight for local services, space for young families, and protection of the area’s local character.

“I’m passionate about the everyday lives of regional families, and ensuring that the needs of the Wollondilly community are met,” he said.

“Given my experience in public policy, including in the area of planning, I’m very keen to make sure that appropriate space for young families and the local character of this area is protected.”

“I’m humbled by the support and trust that the local party members have given me, and I’m looking forward to campaigning with the local community about issues that matter to them.”

The fact the Liberal Party has endorsed a non-local candidate has angered Wollondilly councillor Simon Landow, who withdrew from the preselection race last week.

“I am really disappointed the Liberal Party has parachuted someone in from San Souci especially when that person has no connection to the area,” Cr Landow said.

“I am also disappointed the factions played a big part in this decision.”

He spoke out against the Liberal Party in a Facebook post on Friday, June 29.

”You would think as a local after 15 years fighting for Wollondilly [that] I deserve the chance to represent Wollondilly,” Cr Landow said.

“Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Tomorrow is preselection and factions within the party don’t want a local. 

“They would rather repay favours to their masters and parachute their way into an area where they have no association and no idea of the challenges we face.

“They make deals with everyone who will listen in the hope of convincing them to support their own endeavour to feather their own nest.

“This whole process has made me feel sick.

“I was led on from the beginning, used as the front just so some can get their vengeance.”

Cr Landow ended his Liberal Party membership on Sunday, July 1.

Mr Smith is married to Christine and has two daughters Charlotte and Chloe.

“My whole family have been supporting and cheering me on in this endeavour,” he said.

“I have been living in the electorate for a few days a week due to my work and family commitments, and my wife and I have already enrolled our children to move schools.”

Mr Smith began his careers as an apprentice plumber.

“Soon I had formed my own successful plumbing business,” he said.

“My background as a tradesman and a small business owner have spurred me into fighting for a better deal for regional businesses and communities.

“After working for many years in the private sector, I have always looked for opportunities to put the issues facing small and family businesses on the agenda – and to help ensure that they are able to succeed and prosper.”.

Labor has preselected Jo-Ann Davidson to run in Wollondilly.

The state election will be held in March 2019.

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