NSW remembers leader's passion for regions

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In the central western NSW city of Orange stands the Ian Armstrong building, a lasting tribute to the state's former deputy premier and Nationals leader whose heart was in the regions.

It houses the Department of Primary Industries, which moved out of Sydney in 1992 as part of the largest decentralisation by the NSW government, that was driven by Mr Armstrong.

A state memorial was held on Monday for Mr Armstrong, who died at the age of 83.

Deputy Prime Minister and federal Nationals leader Michael McCormack acted as emcee for the memorial, which was attended by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her deputy, Nationals leader John Barilaro.

"We are gathered to honour the memory of a great man, a great friend to us all, and for his incredible contribution not only to NSW, his beloved state, but also to our nation," Mr McCormack said.

Angus Armstrong spoke of his father - a farmer, stock and station agent, wool classer, community advocate and politician - on behalf of mother Jenny and sister Angela.

"He taught us the value of hard work, and through fires, droughts, floods, heat, dust, he taught us resilience," Mr Armstrong said.