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Australia gets first Sikh MP in New South Wales

March 24, 2019 06:54 AM

COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA MARCH 24

Australia gets first Sikh MP in New South Wales
IP.Singh@timesgroup.com

Jalandhar:

Australia has got its first Sikh MP in Gurmesh Singh Sidhu, a fourth generation Australian, who won from Coffs Harbour constituency on Saturday to reach New South Wales (NSW) state parliament. He is also chairman of Oz Group Cooperative – a group of blueberry growing Sikh farmers, which happens to be one of the biggest suppliers of blueberries in Australia.


Gurmesh was fielded by the National Party of Australia after Andrew Fraser, who remained MP for 28 years, decided to retire. Of the total 41,581 votes, Gurmesh bagged 18,172 while the rest got divided among seven candidates, who could not touch the five-digit figure.

The cooperative was formed after the decline of the local banana industry. Just four berry-growing families of Coffs Coast Sikh community founded it and now it already has around 100 growers.

“Born and raised here, I want to continue in Andrew Fraser’s footsteps by being a strong local member who isn’t afraid to fight for our community on the big issues that will see our region remain strong,” he had said in his introductive post calling himself a national’s candidate who was a “third generation Coffs local.” He has two children with his wife

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