NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today announced Dr David Keegan as the Country Labor candidate for Myall Lakes in next year’s State Election as Labor’s campaign of putting schools and hospitals before stadiums hits the road.

Mr Foley, who visited Taree on Monday, said local GP Dr Keegan had the right credentials to take on the Nationals in the seat as the Liberal-National Government stubbornly presses ahead with its decision to splurge $2.7 billion on Sydney stadiums.

Mr Foley this week kicked off his tour of NSW to highlight the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s wrong priorities from wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the Sydney light rail project and WestConnex toll road to ripping the guts out of TAFE and failing to invest in education.

Mr Foley said the decision to spend billions of dollars on knocking down and rebuilding two Sydney stadiums while 100,000 children are being taught in demountables and elective surgery waiting lists are at record highs is the height of irresponsibility.

Dr Keegan has lived and worked in the Mid North Coast area for over 30 years and is based in Taree. He has worked at the Manning Base Hospital as a visiting medical officer and served on the Manning Base Hospital medical staff council. Dr Keegan has been a Councillor for eight years. Dr Keegan and Country Labor achieved a swing against the National Party at the last election of almost 20 per cent, turning one of the Coalition’s safest seats into a marginal one.

Mr Foley said Dr Keegan would be a strong voice for the mid-North Coast community which has been dealt a raw deal by the Nationals under Stephen Bromhead who, as a member of the current government, voted for the ban on greyhounds, forced council mergers and now the hated stadiums plan.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Labor will take the fight to the Nationals in Myall Lakes and David Keegan will lead it with a positive Labor agenda.

“The people of Myall Lakes will have a clear choice come next March – a government that puts Sydney stadiums before our children’s’ education and our families’ health or Labor which will always prioritise schools and hospitals.

“I am pleased to announce David as Labor’s candidate. He will hold the Nationals to account over their support for Gladys Berejiklian’s failed Sydney-centric policies.

“He will ensure that country NSW issues are more than just lip service as they have been under the Nationals.”

Quotes attributable to Country Labor candidate for Myall Lakes Dr David Keegan

“I have fought against cuts to health, schools and TAFE for years. These services are essential to the growth and prosperity of our area. The Nationals’ local members have done little to defend the region."

"Arrogantly the Nats have taken it for granted that Myall Lakes will forever remain one of their safest seats. Now is the time to fight to restore our economic base and create jobs in our community.”

“Over the last decade our area has gone backwards whilst areas like Port Macquarie boomed. Ironically this boom took place during the period the Nats lost power in the State seat of Port Macquarie.

"I will fight hard for economic improvement and a fair go for all of our residents.”

“We need a local MP who is prepared to work hard and listen effectively to people’s concerns, not an MP who shirks meeting with community groups such as Greyhound, Health or Refuge Action Groups.”