Last week marked the fourth anniversary of representing the people of the Orange Electorate in the NSW Parliament, since being elected in the byelection of 2016. I won that election by just 55 votes, and it doesn't get much closer than that!
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
Prior to my election, Orange was a safe Nationals' seat, and with that came complacency. In these four years I'm proud to have fought for, and obtained, significant government investment in our electorate, the scale of which has not been seen while this seat was represented by a Nationals member.
When the Deputy Premier was still denying the existence of drought, I was lobbying for drought assistance measures for the farmers of the Orange electorate, including freight subsidies. Sadly, it took publicly shaming the Nationals to wake up, but the Government eventually responded by delivering $290 million in freight subsidies to farmers across drought-affected NSW.
I have campaigned, and since lobbied this Government, to flood-proof the Newell to protect Forbes and other communities along the Highway from future flooding that will inevitably occur. I'm pleased my efforts have caused government to invest tens of millions in this vital preventative measure.
This list goes on. Reflecting over these last four years I feel certain that a marginal electorate being represented by someone who truly cares about their community, who refuses to sit by and do nothing, is what actually delivers the dollars.
Progress on Fast Rail
The current NSW Government is well-known for making a lot of promises, and I'm here to ensure they follow-through.
Last year the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole MP, stated that the government had received the report it sought on a fast rail plan for the state, and that he was looking over the strategy. I have repeatedly asked the Minister to provide a copy of this taxpayer-funded report, but to no avail.
Refusing to sit on our hands on this matter, in parliament earlier this week my SFF colleage Mark Banasiak MLC backed my efforts and successfully moved a motion to force the Minister to hand over the report. We want the strategy publicly released, and if Minister Toole refuses (or is unable) to do this, we would like to know the reasons why.
Fast rail is essential to decentralisation and investment in our electorate. We need to see something substantial in terms of what the government plans to do, as it is ultimately the taxpayer to whom the government is accountable. We want more action, fewer promises.
Safety around the water
Recently I caught up with Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce AFSM at the launch of their 2020/21 season safety campaign. Safety around water is always important, but even more so now that the warmer weather approaches. The season has already started with tragic results out here in the country, so let's all exercise vigilance and safety in and around water.
Sculpture Down the Lachlan
Earlier this month I checked out the amazing sculptures on the Lachlan sculpture trail. Located next to Gum Swamp, the massive 20m long giant goanna named 'Varanus' is a sight to behold. This unique artwork is by Australian sculptor Glen Star. I look forward to seeing the next two sculptures to be unveiled!
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.