A MOREE mother who took top spot on the Liberal Party’s NSW Senate ticket has voluntarily relinquished her position for sitting Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
Hollie Hughes said she was “incredibly humbled” to have been voted to the top of the ticket.
“However because there was an incumbent senator, I felt it was appropriate for Concetta Fierravanti-Wells to head up the ticket,” Ms Hughes said.
“I voluntarily asked the Prime Minister on selection night to accept me in the number two spot, so Senator Fierravanti-Wells could lead the ticket as the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.”
The move was a symbolic one and is unlikely to affect Ms Hughes, who will still serve in the Senate after the next election “should everything go according to plan”.
Should there be a double dissolution Ms Hughes said: “My understanding is the ordering of current sitting senators will remain, plus the recent results (of the NSW Senate ticket)”.
A well-known autism support advocate, Ms Hughes has been with the Liberal Party for 15 years. “I’ve always hoped to one day serve in the Senate and I’m really looking forward to it – it’s been a very long job interview,” she said.
Ms Hughes said ensuring rural and regional Australia have access to the best health, education and communications services possible was at the top of her agenda.
“Rural and regional Australia offers such a great lifestyle for so many families,” she said.
“We need to ensure it has the infrastructure and capacity to provide the work opportunities, to give people the option to get out of metro areas and live west of Great Dividing Range, while still having access to all those important things.”
With her background in autism support, she’s also keen to see the National Disability Insu- rance Scheme (NDIS) rolled out effectively.
“The NDIS is one of the biggest economic and social reforms taken by Australia in decades, if not ever,” Ms Hughes said.
“There is so much we can do with the NDIS.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, as long as we harness it properly and it delivers exactly what was promised.
“If you invest early, you provide better outcomes and autism is a great example of earlier intervention leading to incredibly full lives.”