Former Grafton girl Sarah Johnston is likely to take her place in the NSW Parliament later this week.
Former Grafton girl Sarah Johnston is likely to take her place in the NSW Parliament later this week.

Young Nat keen for government

IT MIGHT seem a long way from the Good Intent Hotel in South Grafton to a seat in the NSW Upper House, but Sarah Johnston appears likely to make the journey.

The young National Party member was growing increasingly excited yesterday as she considered the prospect of entering parliament for the first time.

Officials have invited her to the first party meeting in Sydney today, suggesting they are confident she will be elected.

Ms Johnston, 28, spent some of her formative years in Grafton where her father, Steve and uncle Lindsay, were the publicans at the Good Intent Hotel.

Steve later moved with his family to Kyogle before heading west to the Gunnedah area.

Ms Johnston was given the number four spot on the Nationals ticket about 12 months ago, and at the time, that looked like a “one in 10” proposition to get her elected.

But the polls in favour of the Coalition since then were so strong her chances kept improving.

Now she seems likely to be elected, but won't know until probably the end of the week.

She said it was important for women of her age to be represented in the parliament, because they were part of a demographic that, historically, had low representation.

“It is important that after so long with a Labor government we have a government with a regional focus,” she said.

“I would particularly like to see more support for young people going into business.”

Still, despite the strength of the Coalition victory, it is unlikely to control the Upper House.

If Ms Johnston is elected, she is likely to be number 19 of the 42 Upper House members.


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