Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes puts hand up to be counted for state seat of Bega

Eurobodalla Shire mayor Liz Innes will throw her hat in the ring for Liberal preselection for the state seat of Bega.

Ms Innes made the announcement, following Liberal MP Andrew Constance's announcement he would end his 18-year stint in state parliament so he could contest pre-selection for the South Coast seat of Gilmore.

Ms Innes said she had "big shoes to fill" if she was to be endorsed by the Liberal party, however, there's speculation Bega Valley Shire councillor Mitchell Nadin will throw his hat in the pre-selection ring too.

Ms Innes said her nine years as councillor and mayor gave her "great insight" to what needed to be achieved at a state level. She felt the timing was right to fulfill her passion for politics.

"I am really excited; if the opportunity happens, I will be ready to go," she said.

"I have always been interested in state politics."

Liz Innes says she will run for Bega MP. File image.

Liz Innes says she will run for Bega MP. File image.

In June, Ms Innes announced she would not contest the upcoming local council elections. At that time, she felt the need to spend more time with family and take time for herself.

"I needed a break," she said.

Stress and trauma from the bushfires had caught up and her mental health deteriorated.

"I burned out at the end of last year and it did take its toll," she said.

"My relationship has been a casualty of the stress and the strain.

"When you are in a leadership role, you not only have to carry personal burdens but step up to help and support your community."

She suffered post-traumatic stress and was behaving in uncharacteristic ways.

"I started to recognise I was not dealing with things in the best way," she said.

Ms Innes thanked her loved ones for helping her identify she needed help.

"I realised I needed to reach out," she said.

"I have done that and am starting to feel so much better. I am human, just like everyone else.

"Anyone who can connect with that scenario, which is entirely understandable after what we have been through, I really encourage them to get the help that they need and the support from their loved ones."

Looking back on her legacy as mayor, she said she was proud of what the council had achieved, in particular her time working on the Local Environment Plan.

Bega MP Andrew Constance with Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes in Moruya on October 11, 2019, after the LEP was ticked off.

Bega MP Andrew Constance with Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes in Moruya on October 11, 2019, after the LEP was ticked off.

"Getting the LEP through was a massive task and is one of many things I am proud of," she said.

"My passion is strategic planning. I am greatly interested in how the community can shape where we live.

"It's so important to have not only good leadership in that space, but people who are willing to listen, willing to learn and stand up as a strong advocate."

Ms Innes admitted she needed to learn more about the large electorate she hoped to represent, but her "connection with grassroots people" gave her confidence she was the woman for the job.

She expressed her support for Andrew Constance in his hopes to contest the Gilmore seat. The pre-selection and date for the byelection has yet to be confirmed.

This story Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes puts hand up to be counted for state seat of Bega first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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