Eden Monaro by-election 2020 candidates

On Saturday 4 July 2020 there will be a by-election for the seat of Eden Monaro, after Labor’s Mike Kelly, who held the seat on a slim 0.9 per cent margin, resigned in May for health reasons.

The dates in connection with the by-election will be fixed as follows:
Date of polling                                                   Saturday, 4 July 2020
Return of writ                                                    On or before Saturday, 5 September 2020

Liberal candidate

Dr Fiona Kotvojs will become the Liberal Party’s candidate. The beef farmer from Dignams Creek on the NSW South Coast beat out local councilor Mark Schweikert by a comfortable margin. Dr Kotvojs was narrowly defeated at the 2019 Federal Election by Mike Kelly.

Labor candidate

Kristy McBain, Mayor of Bega Valley Shire, nominated for Labor preselection on 1 May 2020. On 4 May, McBain was preselected as Labor’s candidate, against Yass Valley branch president Michael Pilbrow.

Liberal Democrats candidate

Dean McCrae is a chef and Southern Districts party branch coordinator. Mr McCrae contested the seats of Goulburn and Lyne at the 2019 state and federal elections, respectively.

Science Party candidate

James Jansson is a software developer and epidemiologist. He was a candidate for the seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2019 federal election.

The Nationals candidate

Trevor Hicks, former Deputy Mayor of Queanbeyan–Palerang.

Sustainable Australia

Joy Angel. Office manager. Contested an ACT Senate seat at the 2019 federal election.

The Greens candidate

Cathy Griff, a long-term resident of the rural hamlet of Tanja on the Far South Coast and Bega Shire Councillor, is the green’s chosen candidate for the upcoming Eden-Monaro by-election.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

Matthew Stadtmiller will run for the party.

Christian Democrats candidate

Narelle Storey. Carer, founder of not-for-profit platform ReStore Australia. Contested Werriwa at the 2019 federal election.

Independent candidates

Karen Porter is a small business owner and member of unregistered New Liberals party.

Riccardo Bosi. Small business owner, member of unregistered Australia One party. Contested NSW Senate seat for Australian Conservatives at the 2019 federal election.


Andrew Thaler has withdrawn his candidacy. In a statement to The Yass Courier Mr Thaler said “the increasing threat and risk to me personally and to my Family means it is just not worth it.”

We’ll be updating this page as more information is known about the candidates, and will soon the approaching each about their thoughts and policies that will affect the Yass Valley region of the electorate.

Federal funds for local councils

The Federal Government has announced a $500 million fund to help local councils stimulate their economies during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Minister for Local Government Mark Coulton said the money could go towards road upgrades or community infrastructure projects such as bike paths and picnic shelters.               

“The criteria will be very broad, that’s the idea of it, to employ maybe some of the underutilised local government staff or unemployed people within their local areas,” he said. “But part of the guidelines will be that all materials need to be procured from the local community so local businesses will get an opportunity to get benefit from it as well.”                 

The Commonwealth will also bring forward $1.3 billion in annual grant payments to local governments for 2020/21.

What should Yass Valley Council prioritise?

ACT Police search for stolen items

ACT Policing is seeking public assistance following a series of equipment thefts over the past three months.

From March 2020 to May 2020 police have been investigating a series of commercial thefts from ACT and NSW rural properties. Properties where equipment was stolen from included rural farms, ACT Parks and Conservation depots and ACT Rural Fire Service depots/stations.

As a result of search warrant activity last week, some stolen property has been recovered and will soon be returned to the owners.

A large number of stolen items remain outstanding and police believe they may be stored on properties or have already been sold at heavily discounted prices.

Police would like to speak to anyone with information about the thefts or current location of the following items:

  • Two 2019 John Deere Gator all-terrain vehicles
  • A 2013 Polaris Ranger Diesel all-terrain vehicle
  • Power tools including Hitachi brand demolition jacks, Wacker Newson brand Flex drive pumps, Wacker Newson brand 2-stroke Jumping Jacks, a Honda EU20i generator, Stihl brand power-tools including chainsaws, hedge trimmers and brush cutters.

Anyone who may have information about these thefts or the stolen items is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website quoting reference 6522152. Information can be provided anonymously.

Local birds

Thanks to the Canberra Ornithologists Group, we have this great poster of local birds and tips on how to encourage more of them.

How many do you recognise? Do you regularly see more not shown?

NSW regional travel restrictions to be relaxed

The NSW Government has confirmed regional travel in the state will be allowed for any reason, including holidays, from June 1.

Yass Valley Visitor Information Centre

Cultural institutions like museums, art galleries and libraries will also be allowed to open from the same date.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had remained cautious about lifting travel restrictions despite introducing more relaxed measures elsewhere last week. She said at the time NSW would not be hasty in reintroducing recreational trips to regional communities, but that the situation was being closely monitored.

The lifting of the restrictions will come as relief to struggling regional tourism operators, who have been hit by the twin disasters of both the bushfires and the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Government’s announcement follows the relaxation of some restrictions from last Friday, including the permitting of up to 10 customers dining in cafes, restaurants, and pubs.

There have been no limitations on traveling within NSW for work, school, exercise, or visiting family and friends; but holidays and leisure trips have not been allowed.

Weeds Awareness: Capeweed

Weeds Awareness: Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula)

Capeweed is a low growing annual winter weed. It has deeply lobed green leaves and distinctive yellow daisy-like flowers. Capeweed is a prolific seeding plant and dominates paddocks throughout competing and smothering beneficial grasses and plants at the seedling stage.

Capeweed can be poisonous to stock if digested in high quantities. Chemical control is very effective on capeweed when applied pre-flowering.

For more information and advice on identification and control please visit the Local Land Services, Yass Valley Council Biosecurity Weeds Officer or your local agronomist.

(courtesy Yass Valley Council)

COVID-19 pop-up clinic in Bowning

FREE COVID-19 POP-UP CLINIC IN BOWNING – Thursday 21 May, 2020

There’s a free pop-up/temporary COVID-19 testing clinic at:


  • Thursday, 21 May
  • 2pm-4pm
  • Playing Fields, off Minehan Lane Bowning NSW 2566
  • Bookings 1800 999 880 (option 1)

If you’re feeling unwell – call Southern NSW helpline 1800 999 880 (option 1) to book a free COVID-19 test.  It’s OK to get tested more than once, if you have symptoms at different points in time.

Symptoms include: a fever, sore/scratchy throat, head ache, fatigue, aches and pains, runny nose, loss of smell, loss of taste, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite cough or breathing issues

There are fixed five site clinics, open daily (9am-5pm): Bega, Cooma, Moruya, Goulburn and Queanbeyan Hospitals. Bookings 1800 999 880 (option 1).

For up-to-date statistics NSW Health

108 lot subdivision for Isabel Drive

Yass Valley Council has received a development application for a 108-lot subdivision fronting Isabel Drive and McIntosh Circuit.

Visit the council website for more information or to make a submission, or view the:

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Launching soon!

The Yass Courier is a new news service for the Yass Valley, bringing you the news and views of the valley region.

We’ll be launching properly in late June, and when we do we’ll be looking for community and topic contributors to help fill our pages with relevant local information.

We’re planning this as a social enterprise – it’ll be run commercially, but once we’re up and running after operating expenses we’ll be donating the profits back to the community. We expect this to begin in the financial year 21-22.