Beef farmer and small businesswoman Fiona Kotvojs will be seeking community support after being selected as the Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro.
Dr Kotvojs was chosen by a plebiscite of Liberal Party members, after outlining a strong vision for the local community, and a desire to bring more local jobs into the region.
Other names previously reported as in contention for the candidacy were business consultant Nigel Catchlove and international relations expert Jerry Nockles.
Dr Kotvojs will campaign to recapture Eden-Monaro for the Liberal Party, and become the first female Member for Eden-Monaro since its formation as a Federation seat in 1901.
Born in Bega and raised on the family farm in Dignams Creek, she lives in a sustainable off-grid home on the 380-acre family farm between Narooma and Bega, growing Simmental cattle and truffles.
Starting her professional career as a high school teacher, Dr Kotvojs then applied her science qualifications in coastal environments, including Environmental Impact Studies.
Dr Kotvojs has also worked in the private sector to design, manage and evaluate Australian foreign aid programs in Asia-Pacific nations across education, environment, natural resources, agriculture, infrastructure, health, community development, economic governance, as well as law and justice sectors.
As well as managing the family farm, Dr Kotvojs has established two successful small businesses, is a Rural Fire Service volunteer, Anglican Church property trustee and Oxfam Australia director.
Dr Kotvojs said she has listened to “community members, tradies, industry representatives, small businesses, councils and service organisations about their needs and concerns” and is “ready to take the fight up to Labor, to ensure that Eden-Monaro gets the local support that it needs”.
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“From Eden to Yass and Narooma to Tumbarumba, families with children are concerned about job security,” she said.
“Our community is calling out for more local job opportunities, reduced seasonality of work in areas dominated by tourism and orchards, and maximizing long-term employment through the great Liberal Government initiative of Snowy 2.0.
“Young people leave our area for work or study and don’t return, and we can change this by reducing red tape and creating better incentives to attract and grow businesses across our region.
“This electorate is better off under the Morrison Coalition Government, which is focused on delivering more jobs, growing the economy and driving down energy costs. More than 16 thousand small and medium businesses in Eden-Monaro are benefiting from tax relief introduced by the Coalition Government and opposed by Labor.”
Dr Kotvojs said she has been humbled by the support and trust that the local party members have given her.
“I’m looking forward to campaigning every day on the issues that matter to this community – job creation, better support for skill building and upgrading our roads.”