Penny Sharpe wins Labor preselection for Newtown in 2015
Openly-gay upper house MP Penny Sharpe will represent Labor in its bid to win the new seat of Newtown at the 2015 state election.
Sharpe won the primary-style preselection process, garnering 64 percent of the branch vote and 58 percent of the community vote, beating former South Sydney Councillor Sean Macken and Newtown bookshop operator Natalie Gould.
Sharpe, who is currently the opposition spokesperson for transport, told SX she was both “humbled” and “excited” with the outcome.
“It’s a very humbling experience being a candidate so I feel very humbled by it, but also very excited about the challenge in trying to win Newtown for Labor in 2015 state elections,” Sharpe said.
Newtown was created after a redistribution of electoral boundaries when Marrickville was abolished last year.
“I’m really excited about the fact that it’s a new seat because a new seat brings new opportunities for mayors and candidates to talk to the people who live and work and love being in this new seat of Newtown,” Sharpe said.
“It’s an amazing community and one that I’m extremely fond of.”
Sharpe said she will “hit the ground running” and start canvassing the community on the issues that matter with a series of community meetings in the coming months.
“The opportunity for that is not to listen to me, but to have a conversation, and for me to listen and find out what are the issues that are really important and I’m planning to do that on a very local level,” Sharpe said.
“I’ll also start connecting with all the different business in our shopping strips, and with various community organisations in our area.”
Sharpe said she plans to release a community plan for Newtown based on community feedback by October, which will inform her election agenda.
“A new seat means we can talk about what do people want from state government, what do people need from state government and what are the things that I can work with them on to deliver for our local community.”
[Image] Penny Sharpe. Photo: Cec Busby