CHARLTON: Conroy to stick to local issues

HAPPY MOMENT: Pat Conroy on the Esplanade at Warners Bay with wife Keara and 3 month-old daughter Rachel.  Picture: Dean Osland

GREG Combet left him some big shoes to fill, but newly elected Charlton MP Pat Conroy isn’t intimidated by the task ahead.

Unlike his predecessor, whose ministerial responsibilities required him to spend large chunks of time outside the electorate, Mr Conroy said he intended to spend as much time on the ground as possible.

‘‘The most important step for me is to have a strong base in the electorate, being seen and demonstrating that I’m fighting for the electorate,’’ he said.

After a whirlwind preselection and campaign, Mr Conroy enjoyed lunch yesterday  with wife Keara and 3 month-old daughter Rachel.

Despite recording a -2.81per cent swing, Labor received 59.86per cent of the primary vote.

Former Liberal candidate Kevin Baker still pulled 40.14per cent of the vote, despite being disendorsed two weeks before the election.

Mr Conroy said the collapse of the Liberal Party’s campaign had little effect on his campaign.

‘‘We just kept talking about what Labor was going to do for the region and we just kept on that message,’’ he said.

He listed the securing of funding to complete the Glendale interchange and improving schools as his top priorities.

‘‘Fighting for Glendale is number one but we also need to convince the new government to fully fund the Better Schools Plan, Gonski,’’ he said.

‘‘They need to fund it for $10billion because there are plenty of schools in Charlton that need more resources and that’s what the Better Schools plan will do for them.’’

New MP for Charlton Pat Conroy with his wife Keara and daughter Rachel, aged three and a half months.

New MP for Charlton Pat Conroy with his wife Keara and daughter Rachel, aged three and a half months.