This week Dubbo MP Troy Grant was elected as the leader of the NSW Nationals Party and as Deputy Leader of NSW. Take a look back at the political history of the seat of Dubbo in the NSW parliament.
DUBBO was first given a voice in the affairs of colonial NSW when George William Lord was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Wellington and Bligh on April 16, 1856.
Voting was limited to men owning land worth more than 200 pounds or paying rent of at least 20 pounds per year. All adult males - except Aborigines - were given the vote in 1859. Women received voting rights in 1902 when the Commonwealth parliament passed legislation adopting universal suffrage for all federal elections.
In 1859 Dubbo became the headquarters of the new Bogan electorate which covered an enormous area said to be as large as England.
With Jean Emile Serisiser as returning officer GW Lord was elected Member for Bogan on July 5. He held the seat until October 12, 1877 when Walter Thomas Coonan was elected.
From November 30, 1880 to January 26, 1887 the electorate of Bogan was represented by George Edwin Cass and Sir Patrick Jennings who served concurrently.
According to parliamentary archives, it was not uncommon for electorates to have two, three, even four elected representatives. The party system, as we know it, did not exist at that time.
John Edward Kelly and Joseph Penzer were the members for Bogan from February 23, 1887 to January 19, 1889.
George Cass, who had served from 1880-87, returned to office on February 13, 1889. He worked concurrently with William Alison and William A'Beckett. Alison held office until June 6, 1891, Cass until April 6, 1892 and A'Beckett until June 25, 1894.
Robert Booth and James Morgan were concurrent members from June 26, 1891 to June 25, 1894 when an electoral redistribution created the seat of Dubbo. Morgan, a gold miner and member of the Labor Electoral League, became the first member for Dubbo on July 17 that year. He was one of the first Labor politicians elected in Australia and held the seat of Dubbo until July 5, 1895 when Simeon Phillips, a Jewish jeweller, Freetrader, former alderman and mayor of Dubbo, was elected.
Phillips retained the division until July 16, 1904 when another redistribution took place. Dubbo was included in the new seat of Macquarie which was held by Thomas Henry Thrower of the Labor party until August 19, 1907. Thrower lost the seat to Charles Hampden Barton, a Liberal farmer and grazier, on September 10.
Thrower, a cabinet maker, was back in office for Labor from October 14, 1910 until his death on June 21, 1917.
The seat then went to dairy farmer and grazier Patrick Michael McGirr who was part of a high-profile Labor party family. His brother Joseph McGirr was premier of NSW. Another brother, James, was also a parliamentarian.
Another redistribution took place in February 1920 when the Dubbo district became part of the electorate of Wammerawa. Joseph Alfred Clark, William George Ashford and Captain William Fraser Dunn became the first members and served concurrently from March 20, 1920.
Clark was a master tailor and member of the Labor party. His father was Joseph James Clark, the former representative for the electorate of Darling.
Dunn, also a Labor man, was a school teacher, farmer and former Member for Mudgee. He resigned from the party in 1911 in a protest over government land policy but returned to Labor. He was Labor leader for a short time during March-April 1923.
Ashford, a farmer, had also been a Labor stalwart but left the party to join the Nationalists when a row erupted over conscription. He left the Nationalists in 1921 and ceased to be Member for Wammerawa on July 26, 1922. His place was taken by Harold Victor Thorby, a farmer and grazier and member of the Country Party.
Thorby later went on to the Federal Parliament as Member for Calare from 1931-40.
Another redistribution took place in September 1927 and Dubbo became part of the electorate of Castlereagh.
Thorby was elected member and held the position until September 1930 when the electorate of Dubbo was constituted. Alfred McClelland, a union organiser and shearer, won the seat for Labor. He had previously been the Member for Northern Tablelands. He was the father of Senator Douglas McClelland and the grandfather of Robert McClelland, a former opposition spokesman for homeland security.
George Alan Lachlan Wilson of the Country Party became the next Member for Dubbo on June 11, 1932. The grazier died in office on April 24, 1942 and was replaced by railway employee Clarence Gordon Robertson of the Labor party.
Robertson held the seat until May 22, 1950 when Robert George Metcalf of the Country Party was elected.
Medcalf, a farmer and grazier, was the former Member for Lachlan. He lost the election when Clarrie Robertson regained the seat for Labor on February 14, 1953. Robertson held Dubbo until February 16, 1959 when Liberal Leslie Hunter Ford won convincingly at the poll.
Ford, a former mayor of Dubbo, held the seat until his death on December 17, 1964. John Marsden Mason, a Methodist minister who had transferred to the west in 1962, became the next Member for Dubbo. He held the seat for the Liberals from May 1, 1965 to August 28, 1981. Mason enjoyed a successful parliamentary career and was deputy Opposition leader from 1977-78 and Opposition leader from 1978-81.
When Mason resigned the National Party had the opportunity to stand a candidate and immediately nominated Gerald Beresford Ponsonby Peacocke. Peter Morgan stood for the Labor party and Eric Woods for the Liberals. It was a close election and Morgan got half the vote before Peacocke was eventually declared winner.
Peacocke, a solicitor and former member of Dubbo and Bathurst councils, held the seat until March 1999 when he retired from politics. Peacocke later became mayor of Dubbo.
Next Member for Dubbo was independent Anthony McGrane who held the seat from March 23, 1999 until his death on September 15, 2004.
Dawn Fardell, a former Dubbo City Councillor and deputy mayor, won the election and entered parliament on November 20, 2004. She had been heavily involved in the community since moving to Dubbo in 1977.
Current member Troy Grant won the seat in 2011.