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Fiona Nash was elected as a Nationals Senator for New South Wales in the 2004 federal election and her term began on 1 July 2005.
As a Senator for The Nationals, Fiona’s overriding focus is to ensure that communities throughout regional, rural and remote NSW receive the investment and services they deserve.
Minister Nash and her husband David live on a farming property at Crowther (located near Young) in the south-west of NSW and together they have two sons, Will and Henry.
Although born and raised in Sydney, Minister Nash ended up studying at Mitchell College in Bathurst where she fell in love with life in the country. She and David eventually moved to Crowther and in 1991 she joined the local branch of the National Party.
Minister Nash has held a number of different roles within the NSW Nationals. Her experience in the party has included serving as a branch chairman, becoming a member of the party’s State Executive as well as being a delegate to Federal Council.
Since becoming a Senator, she has served as The Nationals Whip in the Senate, Deputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and in February 2016 she was elected by her parliamentary colleagues as Deputy Leader of The Nationals.
The Minister’s other parliamentary roles have included Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Assistant Minister for Health and Minister for Rural Health.
Throughout her career, Minister Nash has been involved in a number of important causes.
In opposition she led the successful fight against the previous Labor Government’s proposed changes to independent youth allowance, which were fundamentally unfair and disadvantaged students from regional areas.
In 2013 Minister Nash and her Nationals colleagues successfully blocked the attempted takeover of Graincorp by the American multinational company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
She is a vocal supporter of the Coalition Government’s introduction of fairer country of origin food labelling laws, and the establishment of increased scrutiny of foreign ownership of agricultural land.
During her time as Minister for Rural Health she led the Government’s $300 million strategy to combat the drug ice throughout Australia, redirected $50 million to increase doctors’ incentives to practice in rural areas and secured the appointment of the first ever National Rural Health Commissioner to help to ensure that more doctors are trained in rural and regional areas.
Minister Nash is passionate about supporting the rollout of the nbn as quickly and efficiently as possible in country areas. She is also working hard to improve mobile phone reception across regional, rural and remote Australia through the Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.
Currently she is the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Regional Communications in the Coalition Government.