The NSW Premier has thrown his support behind Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams two months out from the state election.
Dominic Perrottet, during a visit to Port Macquarie on Wednesday, January 25, backed the Port Macquarie MP's re-election bid as the NSW Liberals candidate.
The March 25 election will be the culmination of a complex contest for the seat of Port Macquarie between the NSW Coalition partners.
Mrs Williams was originally elected to the seat as a National Party MP but switched to the Liberals over former leader John Barilaro's koala policy.
Mayor Peta Pinson is running against her in the March election as the NSW Nationals candidate.
Mr Perrottet said it was not unusual to have three-cornered contests at elections.
"That happens from time to time," he said.
"We are a very strong Coalition that is delivering a long-term economic plan for the people of NSW.
"What I am saying as the Premier of this state is that Leslie Williams is a great person, a great champion for Port Macquarie and she should be re-elected in March."
The other candidate so far contesting the seat of Port Macquarie is NSW Labor's Keith McMullen. Nominations close on March 8.
The Premier confirmed he met with Cr Pinson and deputy mayor Adam Roberts to talk about local issues, and said he welcomed their advice about a number of Port Macquarie issues from a council perspective.
Funding to boost cultural sector
Mr Perrottet and Mrs Williams also visited Port Macquarie Museum where they announced $437,000 to benefit Port Macquarie's cultural and artistic facilities.
As part of that funding, $172,954 will go to Port Macquarie Historical Society for the Mid North Coast Regional Digitisation Hub.
The digitisation project will be a collaboration between Port Macquarie Museum and museums at Laurieton, Dorrigo, Bellingen, Kempsey and Wingham.
"We need to make sure our museums are the best they can be from the city to regional NSW and I hope this funding goes some way to help the great work that you do," Mr Perrottet said.
Mrs Williams commended Port Macquarie Historical Society volunteers Debbie Sommers and Clive Smith who she said had "led the way in digitisation of our historic records".
Ms Sommers thanked the state government for the funding.
"It means our collections will be digitised to best practice standards and made accessible to everyone via the internet," she said.
"Creatives, artists, academics, school students, families - you name it - will be able to see our collections online and read the stories and hopefully they will be inspired, and motivated and informed to use those collections for the future in various ways."
The project will digitise at least 1000 items in 2023.
Other funding under the Creative Capital program went to Players Theatre to replace audio equipment ($24,839) and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council for a Glasshouse Regional Gallery lighting upgrade ($239,108).
Some $250,000 was previously announced for Bunyah Local Aboriginal Land Council in support of the Bunyah Cafe and Art Gallery.
Hearing from the community
Mr Perrottet said it was a great opportunity on Tuesday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 25 to hear community concerns about where issues can be improved and where investments can be made.
Mr Perrottet and Mrs Williams met with business representatives, toured the Port Macquarie Museum and visited Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
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