SWANSEA MP Yasmin Catley has described being elected as NSW Labor's deputy leader as "an honour and a privilege" and said the party will work to win back the trust of - and deliver jobs to - people in regional NSW.
Ms Catley was endorsed uncontested for the deputy role at a meeting of Labor's left caucus on Monday, before winning the job following a party caucus meeting on Tuesday.
It is the first time since the 1960s a regional representative has served in NSW Labor's leadership team. "To be able to deliver for working people of NSW is extraordinary, it's very humbling," Ms Catley said.
"I've committed myself to working with Jodi [McKay] and my parliamentary colleagues and coming together as a collaborative team and moving forward to win government in 2023.
"I'm a proud woman of the Labor Party and union movement.
"I've been in the Labor Party since I was 19, so to now be elected into this role is really extraordinary.
"When I turned up to my first branch meeting at Swansea all those years ago it was a room full of men and I was one of the very few women in the room.
"You can imagine how the average age was reduced by my presence."
Ms Catley's portfolio responsibilities will include rural and regional jobs.
"The Hunter and Central Coast has always had a significant manufacturing sector, but we've been seeing the government export these jobs overseas," she said.
"We need to bring them back. We should be proud of them.
"We need to give people confidence that if they're in those trades there will be jobs."
She said under-employment was "running rife" and the casualisation of the workforce was a problem.
"In the conversations we've been having in the broader campaign and for the leadership people have been talking about jobs - making sure they have a real job where they can get a loan to buy a house and start a family, invest in the future," she said.
"We need to make sure there are really good paying secure jobs in the regions and the bush."
She said the government's push for privatisation, including of the Newcastle bus network, had "failed our community".
Ms Catley said she and Ms McKay knew voters wanted to be heard and respected.
"Jodi is very passionate about getting out and speaking to people and representing their concerns back here in Parliament," she said.
"We need to be having genuine conversations. We need to get people to trust us again.
"We need to give them a reason to vote Labor and that's what we will do."
She said it was an "incredibly historic moment" to have women hold three of four leadership positions.
Penny Sharpe will be deputy Labor leader in the NSW Legislative Council.