Putting our region first, economic development and local jobs. That matters to me.

 

My vision is for a prosperous Ovens Valley - where our businesses and our farms are profitable. Where our communities are welcoming and our infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, roads and rail, is well-funded.

 

I see our Ovens Valley - stretching from the banks of the mighty Murray in the north, to the ski slopes of the southeast and all of the valleys and plains in between - as a place where we think differently and approach things in a way that means we constantly seek out opportunities and ways to do things better and to help one another.  

 

I see our patch as a place where people can enjoy life. Progressive and caring communities where we can all balance our family and careers. A place that undeniably has a future, and it’s one we all want to be part of.

 

I want my daughter to be able to - and to want to - grow up, live work and one day raise her own family in country Australia, knowing that our small towns can offer big opportunities. For that to happen, for my Abbie and for all of our local children, we need access to childcare and kindergarten services, good primary and secondary schools, specialist schools and tertiary education – including a strong local TAFE and university presence.

 

We need to continue celebrating our culture, as we do with festivals and events including the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and the celebrations along the Murray and through the King Valley, and also continue to acknowledge our historical areas of significance and indigenous identity.

 

As a business owner and someone who is part of a dairy farming family, I know how rewarding small business can be and how hard it is at times. 

 

  • It’s jobs that fuel successful communities like ours. We need to be attracting businesses and employers to our region and to do that we need to roll out the red carpet, not the red tape. I will fight for a fair go for our farmers and small businesses. I will advocate to axe payroll tax for regional small businesses.

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  • I will advocate for reforms to cross-border anomalies and proactively work with the new Cross-border Commissioner to make this happen.
     

  • I am proud of my association with TAFE and will continue to support TAFE.

 

  • Government procurement needs to be better utilised as an economic development tool for rural and regional areas. I will continue to support local and Australian manufacturing and local content laws such as the Local Jobs First - Victorian Industry Participation Policy.

 

  • I will continue to advocate for social enterprise and for-purpose and for-profit initiatives that can create jobs and spark positive change.
     

  • I will continue to support philanthropy including our Into Our Hands Community Foundation. I am proud to be part of this organisation that has delivered almost $1m in grants to bushfire-affected parts of the Alpine, Indigo and Wangaratta areas.
     

  • I will continue to be a proud member of our region’s community renewable energy movement.
     

  • I will continue to support community leadership initiatives including the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program.
     

  • I’ll work with whoever is in power to fix our rail services. Transport infrastructure is too important to play politics with, as an independent, I won’t be part of the blame game.
     

  • I’ll work with the community to support initiatives that reduce barriers to social isolation.
     

  • I’ll continue to support the Wangaratta residential rehabilitation centre and other initiatives that help people, families and businesses address problematic drug use. 

 

  • I’m aware of the vision and the excitement of the Mount Buffalo Chalet – it’s an extraordinarily iconic building and I would love to see investment in preserving it and to further reconnect the chalet with our community. 

 

 

I promise to communicate with the electorate. I will be honest in all my undertakings, transparent and forthcoming – I’ll tell you the truth even if I know it’s not what you want to hear.

 

I will look at ways to improve how our communities connect with and can benefit from their local Member of Parliament. I think we can and should believe in better standards and behaviour in our Parliament.

 

I will take our values to the Victorian Parliament.  As an independent I’ll have the freedom to vote on what is truly in the best interests of our region. I will consult widely and take on board feedback from our communities.