Newly re-elected Oxley MP Melinda Pavey may become the next Deputy Leader of the Nationals in NSW, after Niall Blair announced he was departing from the front bench.
In a statement late on Sunday, Mr Blair, who is Primary Industries Minister, said he would resign from that post, just a day after being elected again to the NSW Upper House.
As the Coalition celebrated its victory, Mr Blair said he was departing from the front bench, adding that the Murray Darling basin water debate had taken a big toll on him personally. His time as Primary Industries Minister had seen him battle a number of difficult issues for the Coalition, and he said he was even threatened before his visit to the Menindee fish kill.
Returning Oxley Member Mrs Pavey, who secured 52.6 per cent of primary votes, and 65.5 per cent on a two candidate preferred basis, was pleased with the result and said the hard work continues.
"It was a really strong result. To have a swing to you is a really positive endorsement. I thank everyone who gave me the support to keep going. There's a lot more to do, we won't stop," she said.
When asked about the NSW Deputy Leader position, now vacant, Mrs Pavey said it was a surprise that Mr Blair was standing down and she wished him and his family well.
"I'm talking to colleagues at the moment. I'd be honoured. I'm the longest serving National Party MP with the time I've done in the Upper House and now the Lower House, I've had a good result in my electorate, but we'll be having those internal conversations. I genuinely just want to serve," she said.
"Our party had a really tough result in western NSW. That part of NSW is very close to me. They're really hurting from this drought and we've got some bridges to build there, and I want to be able to contribute to that, but it's up to colleagues. I just want to serve the party well," she said.
Mrs Pavey said it's the NSW Government's job to get more employment, particularly in the regions, and create jobs that are relevant.
"We need to get small manufacturing out of Sydney, because the workers here can have a lifestyle that would be the envy of the world," she said.
"We have a big job as a society to create that transformation to take the pressure off the cities. We have the schools here, the universities, we have got top-level hospitals. There's no reason that people shouldn't be coming to our communities.
"In terms of roads, it's been a privilege to take a policy that's going to help local councils seal more roads, and replace the timber bridges throughout our region that put communities at risk when they fail."
Mrs Pavey said people don't want politicians fighting among themselves, they want good governance and to see their elected representatives get back to work.