Rise and rise of Jai Rowell continues

Backed by new Premier: Mike Baird, at front, with his new Minister for Mental Health and assistant to the Health Minister, Jai Rowell. Picture: Louise Kennerley
Backed by new Premier: Mike Baird, at front, with his new Minister for Mental Health and assistant to the Health Minister, Jai Rowell. Picture: Louise Kennerley

WOLLONDILLY MP Jai Rowell's political career continues to rise following his fourth promotion in less than three years.

Last week, a NSW ministry reshuffle was held after premier Barry O'Farrell's resignation.

While several O'Farrell ministers lost their portfolios, Mr Rowell, 37, emerged a winner — appointed Mental Health Minister and Assistant Minister for Health by the new Premier, Mike Baird.

It capped a rapid rise for the Bradbury resident and former Campbelltown councillor who said he was excited about his latest role.

"I think the Premier has put together a team of people hungry to transform NSW," he said.

About a year after he won the seat of Wollondilly at the 2011 NSW election from Labor's Phil Costa, Mr Rowell was appointed as the electoral matters chairman.

Promotions to deputy government whip then chief whip then followed.

Now he has a ministry to his name.

But Mr Rowell was quick to assure local residents of his priorities.

"I'm not concerned about what it means for my political career, I'm concerned with what it means for the people of NSW," he said.

"My primary focus is Wollondilly and it will always be that.

"They are the people who elected me and this promotion couldn't be possible without the constituency."

He is the second Wollondilly MP in recent times to receive a ministry.

In the last government, Mr Costa was the corrective services minster and water minister.

Mr Rowell is married with two children and still resides in Campbelltown — but is planning to make the move into the Wollondilly shire.

Due to a boundary change at the next election, Wollondilly electorate — which presently takes in suburbs such as Bradbury and Ambarvale — will move south, and no longer include any Campbelltown suburbs.

As a long-time Campbelltonian, this upset Mr Rowell, who publicly expressed his sadness over the boundary change at the last 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer walkathon.

Sandra McDonald, the founder of Beautiful Minds — an organisation that helped establish Campbelltown's mental health recovery centre Harmony House — welcomed Mr Rowell's appointment as Mental Health Minister.

"Woo hoo is what I have to say," she said. She looked forward to more funding and a "hands-on approach" from Mr Rowell.

Comments

Discuss "Rise and rise of Jai Rowell continues"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.