The former Oxley MP says he is honoured and humbled at the Queen’s Birthday Honours List accolade.
Andrew Stoner was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the people and Parliament of NSW, to Australia-China business relations and to the community.
“I feel very honoured to be recognised in this way - in my former political role I did the best that I could for the people of the Mid-North Coast, regional NSW and the state as a whole - that was my job, so to now receive this honour is quite humbling,” he said.
Mr Stoner was the Oxley MP from 1999 until his retirement from politics in 2015.
He was the Deputy Premier from 2011 to 2014 and held a range of ministerial portfolios.
Mr Stoner was the NSW Nationals leader from 2003 to 2014.
Mr Stoner said he had been privileged to have contributed towards significant improvements in the lives of nearly eight million people in NSW, including through a stronger economy, more jobs, and better infrastructure and services.
“This honour is now like the icing on the cake,” he said.
“When I drive on the vastly improved and safer Pacific Highway, when I see upgraded hospitals and schools in communities like Wauchope, Kempsey and Macksville, when I see the magnificent International Convention Centre Precinct at Darling Harbour, I feel a great sense of satisfaction that I have played a part in making a positive difference in the lives of many.”
Mr Stoner cites among the great highlights of his political career as serving the community in the Oxley electorate for 16 years, leading The NSW Nationals for almost 12 years, serving as Minister and Deputy Premier of NSW for nearly four years, and to have contributed to the achievements for which he received the Queen’s Birthday list honour.
Mr Stoner, as then Minister for Trade and Investment, placed a priority on the state’s economic relationship with China, and led several NSW trade missions and developed policy aimed at leveraging economic benefits including growth in exports and in-bound investments.
“China is now Australia’s largest trading partner, helping to create many jobs in export and other industries,” Mr Stoner said.
“Since leaving politics, I have continued in that vein, becoming the inaugural patron of the Australia China Economic Trade & Cultural Association, senior adviser to the Australia China Entrepreneurs Club, senior adviser to two Australian companies doing business in China, and board member of several Australian-listed companies with their headquarters in China.”