Nats pick author to run in Barilaro's seat

Nichole Overall will run for the NSW Nationals in Monaro, after the departure of John Barilaro.
Nichole Overall will run for the NSW Nationals in Monaro, after the departure of John Barilaro.

An author, local historian and communications professional will seek to keep former leader John Barilaro's electorate in Nationals hands.

Nichole Overall has been preselected by Nationals members to run for the party in the Monaro by-election, triggered by Mr Barilaro's resignation from politics.

Mrs Overall is the author of a history of the City of Queanbeyan. She hosts a true crime podcast called "Capital Crime Files".

Last year, she received Monaro's Woman of the Year Award, in recognition for her work as a local historian, involvement with organisations like Meals on Wheels and Headspace, and other volunteer work.

Mr Barilaro, who presented her with the award in 2020, said on Saturday he'd known Mrs Overall for many years and that she was dedicated to the community.

"Nichole's passion for helping others is unrivalled ... She is always the first person to put her hand up if you need a hand," he said in a statement.

"The decision to retire as the Member for Monaro was not an easy one, but I know Nichole is the best candidate for the job - she will take up the fight for the region to ensure the Monaro gets its fair share."

Mrs Overall said in a statement said that as well as being a vocal advocate for the Queanbeyan-Palerang region, she was passionate about regional and rural communities across the electorate.

"My commitment to the people of Monaro is to ensure the Nationals in government continue to build on our 'push for the bush', protecting our communities and delivering improved roads, community projects, education, health and social services," she said.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole called Mrs Overall a "straight shooter" who could carry on Mr Barilaro's legacy.

The candidate is a patron of a local domestic violence and homelessness support service, and is involved in promoting and developing women's football in the region.

The by-election is one of up to four Premier Dominic Perrottet will face early in his tenure.

Mr Barilaro has held Monaro since 2003, and he currently enjoys a margin of 11.6 per cent.

The seat was held by Labor before Mr Barilaro first won it.

The date for the by-election has not yet been set.

Australian Associated Press