Steph to crack the whip in State Parliament

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has been officially named Party Whip of the NSW Nationals.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is the first woman to be given the role of NSW Nationals Party Whip by a Coalition government.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is the first woman to be given the role of NSW Nationals Party Whip by a Coalition government.

Ms Cooke had been nominated for the role shortly after the NSW General Election in March, but the Nationals Party Room ratified the announcement this week.

Ms Cooke is the first woman to be given the role in the history of both the NSW Nationals and NSW Liberal Party.

"It is an amazing honour to be given this important role in the NSW Nationals and I will do my utmost to ensure I carry out my duties efficiently," Ms Cooke said.

"There is no doubt that this is a significant appointment, but I will in no way allow these duties to interfere with my primary role, that of Member for Cootamundra."

Ms Cooke's duties will include helping manage legislative business, party discipline, and ensuring that a sufficient number of MPs are present to take part in votes in the Legislative Assembly.

"I'm happy to announce that I will have a new member of my team based in NSW Parliament to assist with these duties," Ms Cooke said.

"This is an important role and I am proud to be able to contribute to the NSW Nationals and NSW Government.

"However, my primary focus has always been on the communities of the Cootamundra electorate, and this role does nothing to change that.

"I'll still be piling on the kilometres in my car, making sure I meet with as many constituents, community groups and business groups as I always have done."

In other news Ms Cooke is inviting organisations with projects that empower NSW women and improve their wellbeing to apply for a share of $400,000 from the NSW Government.

Ms Cooke said this funding from the latest round of Investing in Women grants gives Cowra organisations the chance to promote gender equality.

"This is a fantastic opportunity where the Cootamundra electorate can lead the way in advancing the status of women," Ms Cooke said.

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit www.women.nsw.gov.au http://www.women.nsw.gov.au . Applications close Sunday, May 26.

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