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Granite Home Loans co-founder runs for Strathfield seat

Bridget Sakr, the co-founder of Granite Home Loans, has been named the new Liberal candidate for Strathfield.

The Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet has confirmed that financial services specialist Bridget Sakr will be the new Liberal candidate for Strathfield.

Ms Sakr has been an active member of the mortgage industry, having started her career as a graduate with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) before joining mortgage insurance provider Genworth in 2010 and then launching mortgage management company Granite Home Loans in 2018. 

After tragically losing her 11-year-old daughter Veronique and three cousins (Antony Abdallah (13 years old), Angelina Abdallah (12), and Sienna Abdallah (8)), in February of 2020 after they were killed by a drunk driver in Oatlands, Ms Sakr has been a strong advocate for improved road safety, which she said will be a focus for her if she wins the seat.

Ms Sakr said that while she had never aspired to be in politics, she had been motivated to represent her community after it rallied around her family in support.

At a press conference on Monday (20 December), Ms Sakr commented: "When tragedy hits you, your perspective on life changes.

"I wanted to give back to the community. The community has done so much for me and my family... without them, I wouldn't be standing here today. So I want to have the opportunity to give and have the opportunity to give on causes that I'm passionate about, such as safer and less congested roads with an increased sense of personal accountability for all road users."
She also said that better outreach for mental health care plans for those living with grief and trauma, and support for local businesses, would also be key focuses.
Speaking of the new candidate, Mr Perrottet tweeted: 

Cabinet reshuffled - new Minister for Homes

md discover

Mr Perrottet and Deputy Premier Paul Toole have also reshuffled the state government's cabinet "to focus on delivering the NSW government’s vision for the state".

The reshuffle - the first major change since Mr Perrottet took over from former premier Gladys Berejiklian in October - includes three new portfolios: Minister for Homes; Minister for Cities; and Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Anthony John Roberts takes on the new role of Minister for Homes, as well as being Minister for Planning. He had previously been NSW minister for housing between 2017 and 2019.

He takes over as the new Minister for Homes from Melinda Pavey, who was previously minister for water, property and housing but no longer sits on the cabinet.

The details of the new Minister for Homes portfolio had not been confirmed at the time of writing.

Overall, there are nine first-time ministers in the new 26-person cabinet - four of whom are women.
The Premier said that the shake up provides "fresh energy at a critical time", as the state government navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our new ministry harnesses experience, while allowing for renewal and injecting fresh energy into the team,” Mr Perrottet said. 

“It’s a team with purpose, carefully shaped to deliver on our vision. My expectation is that every minister will work hard to improve the lives of people across our state at a critical time in the history of our state.”

“Four of our new ministers are women and we hope they will help inspire our next generation of leaders,” he continued.

“We’ve spelt out our vision and the new portfolios demonstrate our commitment to deliver more opportunity for home ownership, our Six Cities strategy, and great jobs through cutting edge research, innovation and local manufacturing.”  

Mr Toole added that while the past three years have been some of the most challenging in the state’s history, the government's focus is now on recovery and strengthening resilience.

“We’ve gone through the darkest of days, but we are focused on building stronger regional communities – stronger for their services, their jobs and the opportunities we’re unlocking for this generation and the next,” Mr Toole said.

“Regional health has been a big focus of our government since day one – and as a registered nurse from the bush, Bronnie Taylor will ensure regional communities get the investment in hospitals and health services and the quality of care they deserve.

“The new Emergency Services and Resilience portfolio combines our response and recovery efforts to ensure NSW can bounce back and lead our state to a better future.”

The new NSW cabinet is as follows: 

  • Dominic Francis Perrottet Premier
  • Paul Lawrence Toole Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Minister for Police
  • Stuart Laurence Ayres Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Minister for Western Sydney
  • Bronwyn Taylor Minister for Women, Minister for Regional Health, Minister for Mental Health
  • Matthew John Kean Treasurer, Minister for Energy
  • Damien Francis Tudehope Minister for Finance, Minister for Employee Relations, Vice-President of the Executive Council, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 
  • Alister Andrew Henskens SC Minister for Skills and Training, Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, Leader of the House in the Legislative Assembly
  • Bradley Ronald Hazzard Minister for Health
  • Sarah Mitchell Minister for Education and Early Learning
  • Mark Raymond Speakman SC Attorney General
  • Robert Gordon Stokes Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Cities, Minister for Active Transport
  • Victor Michael Dominello Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government
  • Anthony John Roberts Minister for Planning, Minister for Homes 
  • David Andrew Elliott Minister for Transport, Minister for Veterans
  • Natalie Peta Ward Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Kevin John Anderson Minister for Lands and Water, Minister for Hospitality and Racing
  • Dr Geoffrey Lee Minister for Corrections
  • Natasha Maclaren-Jones Minister for Families and Communities, Minister for Disability Services
  • Samuel Farraway Minister for Regional Transport and Roads
  • Stephanie Anne Cooke Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience
  • Eleni Marie Petinos Minister for Small Business, Minister for Fair Trading 
  • James Henry Griffin Minister for Environment and Heritage
  • Mark Joseph Coure Minister for Multiculturalism, Minister for Seniors
  • Dugald William Saunders Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Western New South Wales
  • Benjamin Cameron Franklin Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Regional Youth
  • Wendy Margaret Tuckerman Minister for Local Government

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