STEPH Ryan (MLA, Europa) has claimed victory in the Euroa electorate at the state election, well ahead of other candidates. The Nationals Party incumbent - at the time of going to press - had 60.82 per cent of the primary vote, ahead of Labor's Fiona Depperler-Mortan (27.62 per cent).
THE Nationals have retained the seat of Euroa, with Steph Ryan finishing well ahead of her counterparts in last weekend’s state election, in what she described as “bitter sweet”.
The Nationals deputy leader had recorded 60 per cent of the first preference votes with 72.2 per cent of the vote counted, when The Euroa Gazette went to print.
With a resounding Labor Government win across the state, the Nationals still appear overwhelmingly dominate in the main areas of the Euroa electorate.
Ryan recorded 1624 primary first preference votes in the Euroa township, with Labor preferred candidate Fionna Deppeler-Morton, coming in with just 100 primary first preference votes.
Strong polling in both Seymour and Benalla proved beneficial for Ryan, with closer calls in Heathcote and Clonbinane where Labor finished strong.
As voting preferences became apparent on Saturday night, Ryan declared her win at Euroa’s Temple and Co, surrounded by supporters, local community members and staff.
Ms Ryan said she felt privileged to represent the region and the fierce and passionate people who call it home.
“I’ve always been a very strong believer that my job as a local representative is to campaign for the things that matter to us in local communities,” Ms Ryan said.
“I think most people want to see someone who is fighting for local issues and understands local communities.
“Politics to me is about community not ideology.”
Acknowledging that she has a challenge ahead of her, without her government in power, Ms Ryan said her initial goals will be much harder to achieve.
“Labor’s re-election means the $2 billion the Liberals and Nationals committed to the Euroa will be harder to attain, but I look forward to working hard for the community to achieve our goals,” she said.
“I’m going to look to run a really strong campaign, particularly around the train service next year to make sure it is firmly on the government’s radar.
“Improvements to trains services are really key.”
Taking from her last four years in the role, Ms Ryan has realised she doesn’t always have the capacity to fight everything at once, particularly from opposition.
“I’ve realised that sometimes you need to work systematically through a list of priorities, “she said.
Feeling gracious and humble for her win, Ms Ryan looks forward to the next four years representing the community.
Meanwhile, the topsy turvy of the Upper House vote continued this week with the top five order for Northern Victoria changing frequently.
With almost 60 per cent of votes counted Wendy Lovell (Liberal) is in first place followed by Mark Gepp (ALP), Tim Quilty (Liberal Democrats), Tania Maxwell (Derryn Hinch Justice Party) and Luke O’Sullivan (Nationals).
The final order may not be known until next week.