IT is my first federal rounds for 2013 so I trust you all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
Now it is back to work and what a year 2013 is shaping up to be. I am looking forward to continuing to work with you, the people of Calare, as your federal member and hearing your thoughts about what is important for the community as we approach the federal election.
I will be delivering further detail on my priorities for Calare over the coming months.
It has been a relatively quiet start to 2013 on the political front, however, I am concerned about some developments that have occurred over the past month. We continue to see failings in the government’s Carbon Tax, with major job losses in several manufacturing companies, namely Bluescope, Boral and Penrice Soda, citing the tax as a reason for the downsizing.
This is particularly concerning given the number of manufacturing industries in Calare.
The Coalition knows that the manufacturing sector is doing it tough and we have a clear plan to provide a stable government and a strong economy, to help business grow and prosper. It starts by scrapping the unwanted and ineffective carbon and mining taxes.
Support for bushfire affected communities
It has been a horror start to the bushfire season, with fires burning across many parts of Australia and also in Calare. As someone who grew up in a bushfire-prone area I know how devastating they can be for everyone. My thoughts go out to those affected directly by these bushfires.
Both the state and federal governments have announced assistance to affected communities.
Many local government areas in NSW have been declared disaster zones, including five in Calare - Blayney, Cabonne, Forbes, Orange and Parkes - which paves the way for a range of assistance measures. I encourage residents in these areas to check if they are eligible for any of this assistance.
There are also many local charity drives occurring, where individuals are donating whitegoods, appliances, bedding and blankets or money to purchase these items. I encourage the community to get behind these important initiatives.
Remember to stay vigilant and spare a thought for those brave volunteers working alongside the Rural Fire Service and other emergency services on the bushfire effort.
Australia Day celebrations
I am looking forward to getting out and about in the electorate this Saturday for the annual Australia Day celebrations. This year, I’ll be spending time in Lithgow, Portland and Forbes.
There are so many inspirational people in our community and the Australia Day Awards officially acknowledge and thank them for their contribution to their community and in turn the nation.
There are some wonderful events planned and I encourage everyone to get involved in the day’s celebrations.