To the residents of the Jervis Bay Territory,
I am honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the position of Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories.
Having spent my working life advocating and working for people and places along the New South Wales south coast, I will join Member for Fenner, the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, as a strong voice for you in Canberra.
As former Mayor of Bega Valley Council and a small business owner in Tura Beach, I understand and share in the challenges facing coastal New South Wales communities. Over the past few years, we have been hit by bushfires, floods and drought, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 on our local economy and way of life.
As Minister, I am determined to be your partner in supporting a bigger, brighter future for your community as we turn these challenges into real opportunities for people in the JBT.
In my role, I join with the Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, in our Government’s commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement of the Heart in full.
Establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Constitution, is a chance for us to build a genuine partnership as we work together to build a reconciled Australia.
A relationship based on mutual respect and open, transparent communication is a key priority of mine, and I look forward to working with you over the coming months. It is my intention to visit the Jervis Bay Territory as soon as possible, to meet with you face-to-face and discuss our shared priorities for your community moving forward.
I acknowledge the proud culture of the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community, and the importance of the surrounding land and waters of Jervis Bay. I am greatly looking forward to the opportunity to meet with you on Yuin country, and to gaining a deeper understanding of the local people, community and issues.
I hope you have a wonderful week celebrating NAIDOC Week in Wreck Bay as you come together to get up, stand up and show up for the community.