SMALL business owner and mother of two Rebekah Butchard says she was horrified by the funding cuts announced in last week’s federal budget so decided to do something “constructive” about it.
This week Mrs Butchard launched an online petition directed at Member for Calare John Cobb following comments he made defending the $7 GP co-payment and suggesting young and unemployed people in rural towns and villages get a lift into town and “find out where the jobs are”.
“I was surprised by his comments but I don’t want to attack him,” she said.
“I feel he’s an elected representative so it’s important to give respect where respect is due, but I think he doesn’t understand the needs of his electorate.”
In the petition residents from Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow, Forbes, Parkes and Oberon are encouraged to give Mr Cobb “an understanding of the real issues facing the people in his electorate”.
Mrs Butchard, who is the co-owner of accounting firm HUB Accounting, said she will be directly impacted by changes announced in the budget including having to pay more for her chronically ill daughter’s medical treatment and medication.
She said the increase in the cost of seeking medical treatment will not impact the healthy as much as it will the disadvantaged and unwell members of society.
“I just wanted (the petition) to send a message to John Cobb from the people in his electorate, give them a voice,” Mrs Butchard said.
“I hope he’ll take them (the comments) on board.
“I wanted to do something constructive rather than just get angry and talk about it with my neighbour.”
Mrs Butchard said she has a lot of friends who vote for a number of different political parties and has received a lot of feedback, both good and bad, about her decision to start the petition.
The petition can be found online at: www.change.org/petitions/the-hon-john-cobb-mp-represent-the-people-of-calare-and-send-a-message-to-tony-abbott-we-do-not-agree-with-this-budget.
Mr Cobb declined to comment.