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   Dec 12

NSW Parliament resumes on Tuesday with Gosford MP Kathy Smith announcing her resignation

Gosford MP Kathy Smith, right, with Labor leader Luke Foley.IT’S the first day back, and the Hunter’s Labor MPs are wasting no time putting pressure on new Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
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Parliament resumes on Tuesday with news that Gosford MP KathySmith will retire after a battle with cancer.

It means the newgovernment is facing itsthird byelection since Ms Berejiklian took the top job, following the resignation of former Premier Mike Baird in Manly and former health minister Jillian Skinner in the North Shore.

Gosford is the most marginal seat in the state –Labor and Ms Smith won it by203 votes against former Liberal MP Chris Holstein in 2015.

In a statement on Tuesday Ms Smith said it was “with great sadness that I announce my decision to resign as your Member for Gosford”.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, my doctors were positive that with treatment I would win my second battle with this disease,” she said.

“Unfortunately the cancer has metastasised and will now require further treatment. This was not the result any of us were hoping for.”

Meanwhile Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery has signaled her intention to pursue the new government on its commitment to tackle the growing housing affordability issue in the state.

Ms Berejiklian declared housing affordability among her three key priorities, alongside local infrastructure and a strong economy, when she was elected leader in the wake of Mr Baird’s resignation last month.

However since then she’s signaled that she doesn’t supportaxingresidential stamp duty in favour of a broad-based land tax, nor has she called for changes to negative gearing.

On Tuesday Ms Hornery plans introduce a notice of motion calling on Ms Berejiklianto take “immediate action”to assist those being squeezed out of the housing market.

“In the past year, house prices in Newcastle have climbed over 7.5 per centand the median house price in Newcastle is around $700,000,” she said.

“Would-be home buyers in Wallsend are being squeezed out of the market and are being forced into renting.

“It is predicted that Newcastle property prices will continue to increase dramatically as people continue to be pushed and priced out of the Sydney market.

“We have reached a crisis and the Government needs to act to ease the pain people are feeling.”

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