Deputy Ryan a step in the right direction: Member for Morwell

RE-elected for Morwell Russell Northe has welcomed the election of Peter Walsh as leader of the Nationals and Stephanie Ryan as deputy.

On Wednesday, Mr Northe said he would “seriously consider” putting his hand up for the deputy position, but on Thursday morning, newly-elected member for Euroa, Ms Ryan was announced as the party’s chosen deputy.

Due to party room privacy, Mr Northe would not reveal whether he nominated for the role, saying he believed the election of 28 year-old Ms Ryan as deputy was a “step in the right direction to encourage more women to be involved in our party”.

“Any political party or organisation can’t continue to do the same old, same old,” Mr Northe said.

“You need to reinvigorate yourself. You need to be relevant.

“Encouraging women to be part of our great party is something we need to improve upon.”

Ms Ryan and newly-elected member for Lowan, Emma Kealy are the second and third women elected to represent the Nationals in Victoria.

Mr Northe said former agriculture and water minister Peter Walsh would be a “brilliant leader”.

“He’ll obviously bring a different leadership style to Peter Ryan, but there’s no more a diligent worker than Peter Walsh,” Mr Northe said.

Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan stepped down from the role after 15 years.