Two women have nominated to be candidates for the Labor Party for the seat of Goulburn at the next state election.
Dr Ursula Stephens and Anna Ritson have put their hands up.
This means the ALP will now proceed to a ballot of eligible party members and the preselection will be finalised by April 7.
Dr Stephens said she has been travelling around the electorate to gauge the level of support for her stand as the ALP candidate.
“I have spent many weeks talking to people, both within the Labor Party and in the wider community, about what a campaign for Goulburn should involve,” Dr Stephens said.
“The Goulburn electorate spreads from Berrima to Boorowa. There are different communities of interest, focused on their own issues and challenges, but there is a recurring theme in my discussions.”
She said the electorate has been taken for granted because it has never been a marginal seat.
“Goulburn is winnable if we out the effort into it - there is still a 6.6 per cent difference and that translates into about 7000 votes,” she said.
“This is the size of the challenge and it needs a concerted effort over the next 12 months.
“The profligate spending by the Berejeklian government on projects across Sydney, to the detriment of regional communities like Goulburn is disgraceful,” she said.
“While our hospital, schools, TAFE colleges and regional infrastructure is in decline, we have yet to see any benefits from the many promises made by this government in 2015 or since.
“No doubt, there will be lots of big dollar promises in the lead up to 2019, but on their performance, people need to be skeptical about their delivery.
“Our local member seems incapable of advocating for services and projects on behalf of her constituency.
“She is content to let investment opportunities pass us by and services cut, without a whimper of protest.
“Advocacy is what it is all about and it has been a big disappointment here.”
It has also been confirmed that vice-president of Labor’s Yass Valley Branch Anna Ritson has declared that she is nominating for the seat.
”Yes I am going to nominate for pre-selection in Goulburn,” Ms Ritson said on Monday.
Ms Ritson has been a member of the ALP since 2013 and has lived in Yass for 13 years.
“I am at a good point in my life in terms of the ages of my kids and where my career is,” she said.
“I am still reasonably young and I have the energy to give it my all.”
She said is passionate about ensuring investment across the region has a future focus.
“Investment should set up our communities for the next 10 to 15 years. This is especially relevant to hospitals and regional infrastructure,” she said.
“Rural and regional mental health services must also be provided with the resources necessary to effectively address needs.”
She works for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in Canberra.
“I conduct research and statistics in housing, homelessness, child protection, youth justice, prisoner health and welfare-raised areas - that are mostly state policy responsibilities,” she said.
She said she had come to politics through her close involvement in the local community, including being actively involved in motor sport in the local region.
Following the close of nominations, Goulburn Labor branch president Jason Shepherd said the party was planning a delegates forum for the nominees that would also be open to the public, with a date to be advised.