The Illawarra has another ally in State Parliament – and he’s mates with Dom.
Peter Poulos is the state’s newest Liberal senator, having been elected by the Liberals to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of long-standing senator and upper house president, John Ajaka.
Mr Poulos officially took office in May, but despite hailing from Rockdale, he’s no stranger to the Illawarra, having spent almost a decade working as a staffer in the Wollongong office of fellow upper house Liberal, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
He then worked as a senior policy advisor for now-treasurer Matt Kean in his role as minister for energy and environment, before being endorsed by close friend and ally, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, for pre-selection for the vacant upper house seat.
Mr Poulos will now take on the role of duty MLC for Wollongong, Keira and Shellharbour, along with Ms Fierravanti-Wells.
“I’m volunteering myself as an additional voice for the Illawarra,” he said.
In his maiden speech, delivered in parliament last week after a delay due to the pandemic, Mr Poulos nominated several transport projects as his priorities for the Illawarra.
“You can add my voice and strong advocacy with many others in urging the government to duplicate the South Coast rail line to Wollongong together with completing the Maldon to Dombarton rail corridor to establish additional freight capacity and achieve faster travel times for commuters from the South Coast, in particular Wollongong, to Sydney,” Mr Poulos said.
“As someone who worked in Wollongong and travelled there each day from Sydney, I recognise the expectation that these projects are finally delivered.
“Additionally, the remaining stages of the M6 should be finalised and work commenced to complete the missing links connecting the Illawarra with Sutherland and St George.”
Speaking with the Mercury after delivering his speech, Mr Poulos said he admired the region’s current state MPs – including those in opposition – and had worked closely with them over the years.
“I’ve got a lot of time for the actual representatives who are there at the moment,” he said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ryan Park and Paul Scully, I recognise their genuine commitment.”
Author: Shannon Tonkin – Illawarra Mercury