In a move that's been hinted at since the council elections in 2021, it is now official: Carol Sparks will be running against Barnaby Joyce in the federal election.
The former Glen Innes mayor has been officially named as the Greens' New England candidate to stand in the upcoming elections, a date for which has yet to be set.
She will run against current federal member for the New England and Deputy Prime Minister, National's Barnaby Joyce, and Labor's candidate from Tamworth, primary school teacher Laura Hughes.
A bushfire survivor, Cr Spark's narrative will be shaped by her personal experiences with loss and devastation caused by the massive inferno that tore through her house in the Black Summer bushfires.
An inferno which also claimed the lives of two people in her small village of Wytaliba.
Climate change, therefore, will be one of her highest priorities, resolving: "I, as your Greens Candidate for New England, will fight for emissions reductions of Net Zero by 2035, because 2050 is far too late."
Still currently holding a seat at Glen's Council table, Sparks was nominated for an outstanding leadership awards: the McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year, and the NSW Ministers' Awards for Women in Local Government award.
One of the reasons was her successful motion declaring a 'Climate Emergency' in the Glen Innes Local Government Area.
"Now we are witnessing disastrous floods, further evidence that the Climate Emergency is here and that we must take action immediately, so let's get on with it," she said.
"With the loss of lives, homes, our beloved native animals and pristine environment I'm ready to take this fight to the federal level," she stated.
"After experiencing the destruction brought about by the bushfires, I am even more driven to demand the government take action on Climate Change as there is no time to procrastinate".
Her foray into politics came in 2014, when she was campaign manager for a Greens Party candidate at the NSW State Election.
In Glen Innes, her political profile started with her election as deputy mayor in 2016, before going on to become the first woman to sit in the top seat of mayor for the Glen Innes Severn Council in 2018.
Yet she also claims extensive knowledge about the "inner workings of our health system".
"As a registered nurse with over 50 years experience, I have witnessed the stresses and pressures that our public health system has come under," she said.
"I have seen firsthand the impacts that funding cuts have both on health professionals and patients."
She's vowed to make "billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share" to help adequately fund the public health system, and "extend Medicare to cover dental care and mental health services".
"We are in crisis in rural health care and we need our government to provide adequate support to our suffering communities," she said.
At the last federal election, Mr Joyce held the seat of New England with 54.8 per cent of the primary vote, claiming 64.36 per cent of the two party preferred vote.
Mrs Hughes has told ACM that she was "realistic" about her chances against Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is contesting his fifth election as Member for New England.
"I'm running because I believe that the voters of the New England electorate are interested in a progressive choice," Mrs Hughes said.
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