Courtney surprise seat divine for Libs

SARAH Courtney does not think of herself as new blood on the Tasmanian political scene, but maybe she is the change the Liberal Party has been waiting for.

Her quick entrance onto the state political stage has probably surprised a few, not least well known figures and fellow Liberal candidates in Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis and Launceston Preparatory School co-principal Leonie McNair, who she officially trumped in the election countback of preferences yesterday.

She's well educated with professional experience working for respected finance and stockbroking companies at both a national and international level.

She was most recently employed at the Sydney-based firm Regal Funds Management as its business development manager.

Moving to Tasmania just four years ago, she said she was looking for a change and a new challenge, from the corporate life she was living.

Her link to the state is through her father, who was born here but left as a young man.

However, she visited numerous times on holidays as a child and then adult, to her family in the Midlands, although few of them remain now.

``I really just fell in love with the region and all of Tasmania and particularly the Northern region and the Tamar Valley,'' Ms Courtney said.

``It really served my combination of interests in viticulture, because I'd started my degree in viticulture and wine technology . . . and it was around the same time I started looking at properties in Tassie, with a view to a career change.''

The Liberal Party member of two years, is separated from her husband and has established a small vineyard of 2000 vines at Sidmouth.

She has three chooks but her dog Franco died during the election campaign.

She is also a keen road cyclist.

Ms Courtney said she had no desire to enter politics until she moved to the state and was spurred on by what she described as ``the ineffective nature of the Labor-Greens government'' and a core group of friends and supporters.

She was first preselected on the Liberals' Senate ticket in 2012.

She said she now hopes to use her professional experiences to get the state back on track and to take advantage of the many opportunities she believes Tasmania is missing out on.

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