The new Member for Wagga is going to have to hit the ground running, with State Parliament due to resume on Tuesday.
Counting of ballots after Saturday’s byelection is continuing, with Liberal candidate Julia Ham slightly ahead of independent Joe McGirr in the primary vote.
Preferences, which are due to be distributed on Thursday morning, are widely expected to deliver victory to Dr McGirr.
The medical administrator is still “quietly confident” of victory, he said on Tuesday.
Greg Piper, the independent Member for Lake Macquarie, said he had already been in touch with Dr McGirr ahead of the resumption of Parliament.
“My advice to him was that his election is going to be a feature of Question Time for a while to come. Certainly, I think that’s for the rest of the year,” Mr Piper said.
“We’ve only got about four weeks of sitting left, so I imagine the first question in Question Time next week from (opposition leader) Luke Foley will some how reflect the Wagga byelection.
“So Joe will be sitting with the rest of us on the cross bench and he will get some of what (Shooters Fishers Farmers’) Phil Donato got after the Orange byelection.
“It will be a bit of a boxing match between the government and the opposition. The opposition will be delighting in the fact the government lost the seat and the government will be defending its position.
“I think Joe is emblematic of this shift that the government just can’t rely on ‘traditional’ seats.
“Gladys talked about this being a ‘Liberal seat’. Well guess what, it’s not.”
Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, who was elected in 2012, also in a byelection, said he too had reached out to Dr McGirr.
“I am looking forward to working with him on the cross bench of the NSW Parliament,” he said.
“I think Dr Joe will bring an important contribution Wagga, but also a medical health professional.
“As independents, the approach we take is that we are obviously not a government, but we are also not an opposition.
“Our job is to work with – and hold accountable – both the major parties. An independent has the ability to focus on good policy.”