House debates

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Statements by Members

Electorate Offices

1:48 pm

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

I'm sure it came as a surprise to many in this place when they read in The Australian today that Senator McKenzie is moving her electorate office from Bendigo to somewhere in Indi. I think what came as a surprise to most people, though, is the fact that they didn't know she even had an electorate office in Bendigo! I mean, for someone who lives in Melbourne who thinks it's pretty far to travel from Elwood to Bendigo, I wonder what she's thinking about having to travel from Elwood to Benalla, or Wodonga, or perhaps even Beechworth. There is a bit of form here from this government. We know how successful it's been in the past when the conservatives preselect a Melbourne based person and parachute them into the seat of Indi. We know how successful that's been for them in the past. I do have to say, though, it's not going to be a loss to the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria if the senator does move her electorate office, because she is rarely there. Working out of her office is considered to be one of the loneliest jobs in politics because they are on their own the whole time.

It's not a loss to Bendigo that this electorate office goes. It's just a demonstration, again, of how the National Party and the Liberal Party have let down the regions. They're happy to put their signs up, happy to rent space in the mall, but not happy to be there to serve the people of regional Victoria.