House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Statements by Members

Paterson Electorate: Chemical Contamination

1:54 pm

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister recently visited my electorate of Paterson but, sadly, he didn't make time to speak with some locals. I want to make it clear to the Prime Minister that I understand politics is politics and he said he wants to start targeting Hunter seats. To that I say, 'Good on you Prime Minister; it's about time the Libs started to finally take some notice of the Hunter.'

At the end of the day, it is time that this Prime Minister met with people who have been so terribly impacted by PFAS in my community. If he did, he would also learn about GP shortages, NBN failures, aged care and pensioners, and generally the cost-of-living challenges that my region faces. But, sadly, the Prime Minister only found precious time to attend a $10,000-per-head Liberal Party fundraiser. Talk about 'pimp your PM'—seriously!

Today I want to repeat my invitation to the Prime Minister to come and meet with me and the families of Williamtown and to meet with community leaders who have had to spend years dragging their own government to court to seek some semblance, some scintilla, of justice. It is important he understands that people are upset, they are angry and they have been neglected. They deserve a Prime Minister who will act. They deserve a Prime Minister who won't hide, who won't cower and who will look them in the eye. Don't be scared, Prime Minister; do what you should.