The Nationals’ newest Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, says it is up to politicians to show leadership in reaping benefits for the nation from both the two-speed economy and internet technology.
Senator McKenzie, 41, took her seat in Federal Parliament on July 1, and formally addressed her Senate colleagues for the first time today.
She told the Senate that “first and foremost” she is a proud country Victorian, with a strong family tradition of small business in rural Victoria.
“As the first generation born off the farm since records began, the relationship between my sense of self ad the and, the way it I used and the natural environment is strong. It has shaped who I am and how I think,” she said.
Senator McKenzie said that whilst Melbourne is the best capital city in Australia, a high percentage of Victorians were opting for life in the regions.
“I paint a rosy picture of life in regional Victoria, but there are also problems.
“In our rural communities, there are higher levels of unemployment ad lower median income levels,” she said.
“I intend to work closely with my colleagues and my constituents to help craft solutions for our regional communities.”
The former university lecturer said that her generation is the last to speak on landlines to school friends, and conduct their social life without benefit of smart phones, facebook and the internet.
“This cultural shift provides challenges for parents and policy makers, as these developments fundamentally change how young people communicate,” Senator McKenzie said.
“I am fortunate to have science and mathematics feature heavily in my tertiary qualifications, and I am confidence science will find the answers to the many challenges of the 21st century, as it has always done.
“We are a creative and curious species,” Senator McKenzie said.