FIRST-term Port Stephens MP Kate Washington will serve as opposition spokeswoman for domestic violence and sexual assault as well as early education and the Hunter.
Ms Washington assumed the portfolios on Tuesday when Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison stood down from the shadow cabinet to devote more time to the health and well being of a family member.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Ms Washington said.
“But it’s even more exciting news for Port Stephens to have a member in the shadow cabinet.”
Ms Washington said the Hunter sent the Premier Mike Baird a strong message at the last election that he had let the region down.
“So far, all the Premier has responded with is a plan to sell-off Newcastle’s buses without any guarantees of better public transport for people,” she said.
“I am immensely proud of our region. With the right policy agenda and passion for the Hunter, the opportunities are endless.”
“I’m humbled to be given the opportunity to work with stakeholders, women and men across the state dedicated to ending the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Opposition Leader Luke Foley announced Ms Washington’s promotion in Newcastle.
Mr Foley said that his newest member of the frontbench had made an impressive start to her career as MP and had earned a reputation as a strong community campaigner – especially on the Williamtown RAAF contamination issue.
“Kate Washington is tenacious, intelligent and a passionate advocate for the Hunter,” he said.
“She has been extremely impressive since joining the parliament. I look forward to Kate playing an increased role in policy development and holding the Baird Government to account as a shadow minister.”
Mr Foley has requested Ms Harrison’s privacy be respected in relation to this matter. She will continue in her roles as Charlestown MP and Mayor of Lake Macquarie.
Sophie Cotsis MLC will add spokeswoman for women to her existing portfolio responsibilities.
Ms Washington was elected as Port MP last year.