The Nationals Senate Leader and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water, Senator Barnaby Joyce has commended the initiative of the recently sworn-in Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie in establishing her electorate office in regional Victoria.
He made the comment in Bendigo when opening Senator McKenzie’s electorate office.
He told around 70 guests that Senator McKenzie would be a great attribute to the nation’s parliament and regional Victoria.
“She comes from a family background in small business and has lived and worked in regional Victoria all her life. She has a genuine empathy for regional people and a strong desire to advocate on their behalf.
“In establishing her electoral base in Bendigo she has made it easier for regional Victorians to have a say in what goes on in Canberra. They don’t have to get to Collins Street; they can simply talk to Bridget in the Bendigo office. I congratulate her for sticking her hand up for election to the Senate and for establishing her office in regional Victoria.”
Senator McKenzie said her decision to base herself in regional Victoria already had been beneficial, allowing her easy access to Harcourt and Goulburn Valley apple and pear growers to discuss their concerns over the disease risks presented by the importation of New Zealand apples. She also attended the National Apple Rally in Shepparton and has undertaken to represent growers’ interest in federal Parliament.
“The Gillard Greens government just doesn’t get it. The farmers, families and small business men and women I meet throughout regional Victoria are horrified by what’s happening in Australia, particularly in regional Australia,” said Senator McKenzie.
“From one government-inspired mess to another these people are watching their values and way of life being threatened.
“Now irrigators and river communities are back in the government’s sights, with the second plan of the Murray Darling Basin Authority scheduled for release this month.
“This will have far-reaching consequences for the whole of Victoria. With Shadow Water Minister Barnaby Joyce, I will be consulting widely on this issue as part of my job for regional Victoria.”