Fiona Kotvojs will be taking a second swing at winning Eden-Monaro after being confirmed as the Liberal candidate.
Dr Kotvojs was overwhelmingly selected as the preferred candidate through a vote of Eden-Monaro Liberal party members on Saturday, beating Queanbeyan-Palerang councillor Mark Schweikert.
She was officially confirmed as the candidate at an event in Murrumbateman on Sunday morning. Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he thought she would be able to "lead the way back" in Eden-Monaro.
"The many, many communities that make up the electorate of Eden-Monaro, they have also experienced more than most, more than many, these terrible hardships, whether it's fires, droughts or the one you can't see and that is COVID-19, " he said.
"These are the years of building back and restoration and it will need someone on the ground as part of the government who can deliver on the ground for those communities in these vital times."
Dr Kotvojs previously ran for Eden-Monaro in 2019 but was beaten by former Labor member Mike Kelly. This was despite a 2 per cent swing to the Liberal party. Dr Kelly announced late last month he was resigning from Parliament because of health issues.
Dr Kelly has undergone 10 surgical procedures in the past six months, linked to renal issues sustained during his time in the military after becoming severely dehydrated.
Dr Kotvojs was born in Bega and lives in Dignams Creek. She has a doctorate in education and three other degrees, including a science degree. She is a small business owner and runs a cattle and truffle farm.
The farm, which is between Narooma and Cobargo, came under threat in the recent summer bushfires.
"I'm on a family farm down in Dignams Creek, and yes the bushfires did go over us," she said.
"They went through the farm so I know what the pain is like when you lose fences, you lose pasture, and you lose your property."
Dr Kotvojs said rebuilding after the bushfires, drought and COVID-19 would be key issues in the byelection.
"As we rebuild, our community needs someone who faced the fires and understands what they're going through," she said.
"There's so much work to do as we rebuild from bushfires and COVID-19 and invest in major infrastructure, including highway upgrades and Snowy 2.0."
Dr Kotvojs also said she would advocate for opportunities for young people in Eden-Monaro.
"When I finished high school, I had to go away to work and to study and unfortunately that is still the case for many of our young people in this electorate," she said.
"So for me, it's really important now we work for the long term so our young people have the choice as to whether they go away or whether they stay for their work opportunities."
It has been a century since a government took a seat from the opposition in a federal byelection.
Until 2016, Eden-Monaro had been a bellwether seat as it had gone to the party that had won government for 44 years.
Labor's candidate is former Bega Valley mayor Kristy McBain. She was endorsed as the party's candidate three weeks ago.
Ms McBain congratulated Dr Kotvojs on her win.
"It's going to be an uphill battle and a really tight contest in Eden-Monaro. There are a range of different issues and a range of different matters that will be different to people right across the electorate," she said.
Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro, a National, and NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance, a Liberal, had both considered tilts at the seat. Mr Constance sensationally withdrew from the contest for preselection a day after he announced he would run.
Eden-Monaro, which is a federation seat, has never been held by a woman. It has also been decades since a member was not based in Queanbeyan.
A date for the byelection has yet to be set.