Kathy Smith dies
Former Member for Gosford Ms Kathy Smith has died on May 31 after a long illness with cancer.
Tributes have flowed from local, State and Federal dignatories.
Current Member for Gosford, Ms Liesl Tesch described Ms Smith as "a tireless campaigner for the Central Coast community".
"Kathy was a remarkable woman whose long career in small business and the community sector led to her representing the people of Gosford," she said.
"After being diagnosed with cancer in 1996, Kathy became a cancer advocate and then chair of Cancer Voices NSW.
"Kathy spent years working with Federal and State Governments to establish a regional cancer centre at Gosford Hospital.
"The Central Coast Cancer Centre will stand as Kathy's greatest legacy to the Central Coast community and will never be forgotten.
"During her time as our local member, Kathy worked tirelessly for our community.
"Kathy revealed and fought for the repair of dangerous problems with the Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge, supported the community in the fight to prevent the closure of our local Roads and Maritime Services office, and worked to stop the increase in train fares.
"I commit to continuing Kathy's great work in my role as the Member for Gosford."
Ms Tesch extended her condolences to Ms Smith's family.
Federal Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks, also paid tribute to former Member for Gosford, Ms Kathy Smith.
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Member for Gosford Kathy Smith," Ms Wicks said.
"My thoughts are with Kathy's family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."
Central Coast Council administrator Mr Ian Reynolds paid tribute to Ms Smith.
He said Ms Smith was renowned for her commitment to the local community, particularly her campaigning for the Central Coast Cancer Centre which includes public radiotherapy services.
"Kathy was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to serving her community," Mr Reynolds said.
"From her passion and commitment to improving the lives of local cancer survivors as the chairwoman of NSW Cancer Voices to her service to the people of Gosford and the Peninsula as an elected representative, her drive and tenacity were beyond question.
"On behalf of Central Coast Council, I extend our deepest condolences to Kathy's family and friends at this time."
The flag at Central Coast Council was flown at half-mast on June 1 in acknowledgement of Ms Smith's passing.
NSW Opposition Leader Mr Luke Foley said Ms Smith had passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones.
"Kathy bravely battled a recurrence of cancer for more than a year," Mr Foley said.
"Her condition deteriorated sharply last weekend," he said.
"Kathy was first diagnosed with cancer in 1996.
"She fought for the provision of public radiotherapy treatment on the Central Coast.
"Her campaign culminated in joint Federal and State government funding in 2010 for the construction of the Central Coast Cancer Centre, which included the public radiotherapy facilities for which she battled so hard.
"I spoke to her husband Peter O'Hanlon and conveyed to him the great affection that so many members of Parliament, from all sides, feel towards Kathy.
"My thoughts are with Peter, Kathy's children Richard and Janet and her grandchildren Georgia, Jimmy, Ali and Joshua."
Senator Deborah O'Neill issued a statement that said she had been "deeply saddened by the news that, despite a long and determined fight against cancer, my friend and former Labor colleague Kathy Smith has passed away.
"Kathy Smith was a generous and determined woman who never shied away from standing up for our community; both as the Member for Gosford and as a strong advocate for cancer treatment.
"She was deeply committed to her family and like so many in our community; Kathy's family will feel a great emptiness in their lives.
"As the NSW Cancer Voices chairwoman, Kathy's unrelenting determination was a critical factor in the delivery of our very own Cancer Centre at Gosford Hospital.
"She was rightly proud of her vital role in that significant achievement which stands as a testament to her endeavors.
"As the key leader of the community voice on this issue, Kathy leaves a lasting legacy so that cancer sufferers now have a local facility to undertake cancer treatment closer to their family and friends.
"Many locals fighting cancer are now able to balance the challenges of their treatment and still maintain their work and family commitments.
"That simply wouldn't have happened without Kathy's efforts.
"As the Member for Gosford, Kathy's unrelenting drive kept the Baird government to account and provided crucial electoral support for her local constituents.
"In particular, Kathy's campaigns to keep local state services in our community revealed her character - she wouldn't give up in the fight for fairness.
"Kathy's tireless work for our community is a noble legacy and I thank her for her dedicated service to the people of Gosford and the Peninsula she called home."
Senator O'Neill said her thoughts and prayers were with Ms Smith's family..
A private funeral was held for Ms Smith on Tuesday, June 6.
Media release, 1 Jun 2017
Ian Reynolds, Central Coast Council
Media statement, 31 May 2017
Kieran Gill, Office of Luke Foley MP
Media release, 31 May 2017
Richard Merhtens, Office of Liesl Tesch MP
Media statement, 1 Jun 2017
Rhys Zorro, Office of Senator Deborah O'Neill
Website, 1 Jun 2017
Lucy Wicks, Member for Robertson