Pyrenees Advocate – January

Welcome to 2015 and thank you to the Ripon community for electing me as your local member. You have given me the honour of representing you. I will spend the next four years fighting for Ripon’s fair share. I promised you I would work for you and I recommit to that promise. I know you will hold me to account, as is your right and duty.

Welcome to 2015 and thank you to the Ripon community for electing me as your local member. You have given me the honour of representing you. I will spend the next four years fighting for Ripon’s fair share. I promised you I would work for you and I recommit to that promise. I know you will hold me to account, as is your right and duty.

In my inaugural speech to Parliament just before Christmas I reflected that the electorate is bone dry this year. The season has generally been poor, and in some parts has failed entirely. Farmers are carting water to stock, some daily, some weekly, at significant cost.

These conditions mean we were facing a long, potentially disastrous, fire season.

This week we have seen brigades from across Ripon, including those from across the Pyrenees region, fighting the fires in Moyston as well volunteers from across the community in support roles as the ground efforts transitioned from emergency to recovery.

I thank these volunteers for their tireless efforts both locally and across the state.

We are a strong and resilient community and when there are people in need there is no shortage of volunteers.  Volunteering is at the heart of Victoria and our local community.

In my inaugural speech I warned the new government about its plans to assert union control over the CFA. The effect of this will be the quiet yet devastating resignation from the CFA of thousands of volunteers. As Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria said in advertisements on 26 November 2014, Labor policy ‘has the potential to destroy the CFA’. I will continue to call on the government to abandon this flawed attempt to pay off union mates.

As a community we are grateful to those involved in the numerous emergency service organisations in our local area. We should be supporting these organisations, not putting them and the vital work they do at risk.

My office at 177 High Street Maryborough is up and running. Please drop in and say hello or give my office a call on 5461-1255 for assistance.