PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 2021
SUBJECTS: Regional Australia, climate change.
KRISTY MCBAIN, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR EDEN-MONARO: Thank you. Kristy McBain Member for Eden-Monaro. My electorate has suffered through 28 declared natural disasters in two years. In the Black Summer Bushfires a million hectares of land was burnt. We suffered through a prolonged drought. In my electorate alone, we have every type of agriculture you could think of. We've got the dairy farmers, cattle farmer, sheep farmers, orchardists, muscle famers, oyster farmers, we’ve even got kelp farmers, all of whom are asking for action on climate change. All of whom need this government to lead. We saw Scott Morrison take a hike during the bushfires. He wasn’t here to lead. He hasn't led during COVID. The COVID Taskforce has been an absolute shambles. He hasn't led one time. And now we are being held to ransom by Barnaby Joyce, and his party.
Regional Australia isn't a monolith. And the Nationals do not speak for all of regional Australia. I am sick to death, as is my community, of being held to ransom by a party that represents about 5% of the national vote. My electorate wants action on climate change. They want a safe and secure future. We have companies in this electorate leading the way. Visy, the most recyclable company in the world. Bega Cheese uses by-products of other industries to power their factory. We want this government to get serious and lead on this issue. And they will not. They are letting a party with half a dozen members dictate what happens in this country. That is not good enough for us. Scott Morrison has had a go and now he's got to go. Because this guy is not good for our country. And he's not good for regional Australia.
JOURNALIST: The Nationals have been saying that they're trying to protect jobs and livelihoods in the region. What do you think they mean by that?
MCBAIN: Well, I'm from regional Australia and I can tell you what I see every day. That is the fact that this national government has failed to deliver infrastructure to regional Australia. We've been inundated with people since COVID. Our telecommunications are terrible. We have poor internet connectivity; our roads are useless. But that might just be if you don’t live in a Nationals seat. The Building Better Regions Fund that just came out – we were thrown some pittance. Here you go regional Australia, we don't care about you guys, because it's not a seat we hold. This is absolutely ridiculous. When you govern, you govern for the country, you do not govern for particular electorates. And that is what we have seen. But eight long years from this government, whether it was Abbott, whether it was Turnbull, whether it was Morrison, for eight years, we have seen them pick winners across the country. We’re prepared to govern for you guys because you elected us. That same bribe was put out during the Eden-Monaro by-election. Vote for us because we're in government. Absolutely ridiculous.
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