Rural and regional issues went to the top of Labor’s agenda today with the first meeting of the new Country Caucus.
"I am excited to be elected as the secretary of the new Country Labor Caucus.
"We have vibrant regional communities with a proud history and exciting future. And yet, despite their diversity and unique characters, the villages, towns and city have one thing in common—that is, community.
"Together as a community we strive to make our regions a better place to live and to work; together we encourage our entrepreneurs; together we take care of our most vulnerable; together we can celebrate our achievements and face our difficulties.
"Currently National Party Members are singing from the Liberal Party song-sheet while being deaf to the concerns of regional Australia.
"Country and regional people deserve strong and effective representation and I am excited to be part of a Labor team that will be a strong voice for regional Australia."
Country Caucus spokesperson and Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Joel Fitzgibbon said the Members of the Country Caucus will ensure the Labor Party maintains a strong focus on issues which affect rural and regional communities.
“The Country Caucus will make sure that the Party’s policy development processes and our responses to Government proposals are guided by the aspirations, ideals and challenges country Australians face,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“We will also campaign hard in rural and regional Australia, ensuring strong contests in every electorate which can only be a good thing for the bush.
“I congratulate Justine Elliot (Richmond) and Lisa Chesters (Bendigo) who were today elected Chair and Secretary of the new Country Caucus.”