I am very honoured to be asked to serve as Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government.
If we want to win the next election we need to listen to the people of regional Australia and earn their trust and support.
Regional Australia is a critical part of our economy. It is where most of our exports come from and where a lot of great Australian businesses are – big and small.
But it also has plenty of challenges. In many places unemployment is higher than the national average and there is not access to the sort of services all Australians expect and deserve.
This includes everything from access to the internet, universities and TAFE as well as first class health care and aged care.
No wonder so many people in regional Australia are angry, frustrated and feel left behind, and why many voted for minor parties at the last election.
Australia is successful when our regions are strong and the Labor Party is successful when it gets regional Australia, focuses on the regions and develops plans to help them grow.
The work our local governments do is a key part of this. Local governments do the heavy lifting in our communities. They provide critical services and local leadership.
No federal politician has focused more on the work of local government than Anthony Albanese and I am keen to build on that work.
I am also honoured to be asked to serve as Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
There are massive challenges here. Mortgage and rental stress are on the rise and the number of Australians that are homeless are at record levels. Almost half of them are children and young people.
I focused on these challenges in my own electorate in my first speech in Parliament and I am very grateful to now have an opportunity to lead work in the Shadow Cabinet in this important area.
I look forward to working closely with my colleagues Catherine King, Andrew Giles and Carol Brown and I thank Labor Leader, Anthony Albanese for giving me the opportunity to serve in these two important portfolios.
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