National Party to set up Illawarra branch

The National Party will form its first Illawarra branch in decades this weekend, following the success of the party's celebrity candidate for Throsby, Gary "Angry" Anderson, at last year's federal election.

Mr Anderson almost doubled the National Party vote at September's poll, taking it from 5.3 per cent to 10.4 per cent after a strong grassroots campaign.

Since then, Mr Anderson's former campaign manager, Val Tyson, from the Southern Highlands, has been pushing to launch an Illawarra-based branch.

Mr Tyson said there was a high level of interest in the country party, especially in the Illawarra's southern suburbs.

"We've got about 10 to 12 people that are new members who will join, and about 72 other members on the South Coast that have not had a branch for 20 years," he said.

"So there'll be a good base to start some action."

NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson, is expected to attend the first branch meeting in Albion Park tomorrow.

Members will vote in branch leaders and begin preparing to contest next year's state election, Mr Tyson said.

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