Tribute to Thomas
AS I put pen to paper, I am still to be formally endorsed as the member for Lismore. This has not stopped me and I have hit the ground running.
After every election there are people to thank, campaign offices to clean up and vacate, and many matters to attend to.
During the campaign I made representations to various government departments and agencies for local people and I shall continue to follow them up.
I also kept an ever-expanding folder of "things to do” and they will be tackled.
People have asked where my office will be. I am sure it will be where MP Thomas George had his office (subject to the lease and notice from the Parliament), as it provides continuity for the community.
I wish to pay tribute to Thomas for his 20 years of service to our community and recognise him as one of our respected elder public figures.
I can never hope to remember names as Thomas is famed for but I never forget a face.
I also acknowledge the effort of the other candidates - Austin Curtin, Sue Higginson, Alison Waters and Greg Bennet - for the massive effort they, their families and teams put in. Like me, they too wanted to "make a difference”.
Tenterfield locals said they didn't want to be forgotten as the "west of the range” part of the electorate. So on Wednesday I paid a visit.
My first port of call was the office of federal member Barnaby Joyce, as our seats share some common ground.
I then attended the council meeting at Wallangarra in Queensland, which sits at the border alongside Jennings in NSW. I was warmly welcomed, if not a bit circumspectly, given the people had long had Nationals represent them.
I said my job was to represent the entire community and I shall do that without fear or favour across our diverse and wonderful electorate that takes in Murwillumbah, Kyogle and Lismore as well.
We want our precious environment protected and we want a vibrant local economy and my job has to embrace this approach.
A pressing issue we could get under way very quickly is the Lismore CBD revitalisation project. There is $1.5 million on the table and we are ready to go.