Booragul’s Jo Smith, the woman credited with staging a last-minute rescue of the Regal Cinema, has put her hand up for another recovery mission: returning the seat of Lake Macquarie to Labor.
Ms Smith was announced as Labor’s candidate in the state election on Monday. This is her first experience running for public office.
“I think it’s time for everyday people to run for politics,” she said.
“Because I work at the Regal Cinema and have contact with hundreds of people every week, I know what people want. I’m about listening to people and advocating for what they want.
“I’ve always been a Labor supporter and I think that Labor can do more for the area and the region,” she said.
She listed several areas of concern including public transport, rising house prices, job opportunities and health services in the region.
Independent MP Greg Piper has held the seat of Lake Macquarie since 2007.
Member for Port Stephens and shadow minister for the Hunter Kate Washington said she “just really wants” Ms Smith to “be part of the team”.
“Jo’s just a great community candidate. She has a great collaborative approach to work and that translates into representing her community,” Ms Washington said.
“Her artistic background and her collective work in that space has been really effective and she would make a very effective member here.”
Ms Smith was born in Fishing Point and grew up in Booragul, where she currently lives.
She is the executive director of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, an advocacy body for composers working in film and television. She has worked in lobbying within the film and television industry for the past two decades.
Ms Smith is also the weekend manager at the Regal Cinema in Birmingham Gardens.
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