The Rising Political Stars You Should Be Keeping an Eye On: Part 2
This week we wrap up our 2 Part profile series with a look at the NSW Opposition benches.
After careful consideration, we’re pleased to bring you three particularly noteworthy members from Labor’s talent pool. How many are on your stakeholder engagement list?
1. Chris Minns – Labor, Shadow Minister for Water, Member for Kogarah
One of the younger Members of the Legislative Assembly, Chris Minns was elected in 2015 with a swing of 1.5 percent. At 38, Minns is the Shadow spokesperson on Water and seen as having future leadership potential within the Party.
Minns grew up in the area covered by his electorate where he’s currently raising a young family. Having served as Deputy Mayor on Hurstville Council and staffed for former Labor Minister Carl Scully and former Leader of the Opposition, John Robertson, Minns has an acute understanding of NSW politics.
His perceived lack of ‘real world’ experience may prove to be a slight chink in his armour, however he remains a ‘classic Labor MP’, the sort that forge long careers in Parliament.
2. Leisel Tesch – Labor, Member for Gosford
Leisel Tesch is from the stock of politicians who, through drive and ambition, already achieved a great deal prior to entering Parliament. This makes their developing political career irresistible to watch.
Hailing from the Party’s right faction, Tesch was elected at the recent by-election to the seat of Gosford.
The mountain bike accident that left Liesel Tesch an incomplete paraplegic at the age of 19, did nothing to quell her desire to excel, particularly at sport. Tesh competed in the Australian National Wheelchair Basketball team at five Paralympics, winning three medals. Not satisfied with this achievement, Tesch won gold in sailing at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
With a natural ambition to succeed, a strong background in education and a passion for helping people with disabilities, it’s a good bet that Tesch’s future may see her overseeing one of these portfolio areas.
3. Clayton Barr – Labor, Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Property, Member for Cessnock
Largely flying under the radar since he entered Parliament in 2011, Clayton Barr is another ‘genuine local’ Labor Member from a traditional Labor town. Raising his family in the region where he grew up, Barr is a teacher by trade, yet has a firm understanding that Cessnock is first and foremost a mining town. Barr has gone in to bat for miners and their families on numerous occasions and his support for the industry has put him front and centre in the current energy policy debate.
What drives Barr is a clear passion for his community, having worked for the Port Stephens Council and CanTeen, a children’s charity. Local MPs with this sort of dedication often make the best Ministers, hence his elevation to the Shadow Finance portfolio.