House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Statements by Members

Victoria: Rural Community Leadership

1:39 pm

Photo of Lisa ChestersLisa Chesters (Bendigo, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

On behalf of everybody here, can I welcome the Loddon-Mallee-Murray community leaders that have joined us today. Last night we had a great discussion about: if they were Prime Minister of this country, what would be on their priority list? We did confess we didn't quite know, at the time of dinner, who the Prime Minister was. I think, standing here right now, we still don't know who the Prime Minister is. We did have a discussion about what the key issues were for the leaders of my electorate and of the region and what they would like to see this government or any government focus on. We discussed the importance of increasing funding for our schools and the need for all schools, in particular public schools, to receive their fair share of funding. We discussed the importance of tackling loneliness, particularly in regional Australia, and the need for there to be an integrated community network to help people who are in need and to help people who are experiencing loneliness. We talked about the need for real action on climate change and to not keep shelving it every time it gets a little bit hot in the party room—to actually tackle this issue, to work with communities, to address this issue for now and into the future. We also spoke about the need for a compassionate and inclusive approach when it comes to those seeking asylum and when it comes to our immigration policy. These are the views and the values of the leaders in my electorate. (Time expired)