I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we are gathered.
I pay my respects to their elders both past and present.
In my inaugural speech to parliament I made it clear that my speech was not about me but the Shepparton District electorate.
Today I will talk more about me and what led me to run for State Parliament.
I will also talk about the 29 day campaign, how I see my role as the independent member for Shepparton District and what I regard as the most important needs for this electorate.
I have been elected to represent the needs of this community.
The people in this electorate voted for me based on the campaign Stand up Shepparton, It’s Our Turn.
I will not lose sight of the fact that we as an electorate have missed out in so many ways, from major investment in infrastructure to addressing the basic needs of disadvantaged members of our community.
We have watched for years as Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong have been invested in, developed and achieved significant social and economic benefits.
I believe they got what they needed because they were marginal seats.
The electorates of Shepparton and Mildura have had the same or greater needs for just as long but have missed out time and time again.
I congratulate you, Speaker, on your appointment as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and I am pleased to participate in the address-in-reply debate.
I regard it as a great honour to be here in the Victorian Parliament on behalf of the electorate of Shepparton, and I sincerely thank the people of my electorate for the confidence that they have placed in me. I declare that I will make every effort to consult widely and actively with the electorate during the forthcoming years in Parliament. There are many people I have to thank for their hard work throughout our short election campaign, in particular my husband, Peter Eastaugh; my children; my extended family; my colleagues at SMR Legal; and the many other members of our local community who continue to support the campaign for change. To the incredibly hardworking team around me, I acknowledge the contribution and dedication of you all, from the core campaign team to the much larger group of supporters and volunteers who kept appearing and adding to the ranks. My thanks to you all; I could not and I would not have done it without you.Read more