I have little time before the election to continue to impress upon the government the needs of my community.
With only three members statements left, I will be using them to talk about the most important issues for Shepparton district.
Rail is a game changer for my community, yet we continue to be left behind. The knock-on effects of an improved rail service are considerable — more opportunities for business and for tourism and the immeasurable value of linking our community with towns and cities further afield. It will open up Shepparton district for investment and offer a path to future sustained prosperity.
This goes hand in hand with education for our children. The proposal to merge our four secondary schools into a state-of-the-art super-school is really exciting. It demonstrates a faith in our future generations that has been lacking for far too long. Nearly every day I get asked about the plan and when it will be coming to fruition. I look forward to the day I can tell my community that our advocacy has succeeded.
Water is also vital for the people of Shepparton district, and the Murray-Darling Basin plan plays a crucial role in our future. Although this issue does not require a financial investment from this government — and that is a rare occurrence in this place — it sure requires an ongoing massive investment in understanding the impact of water availability on our northern irrigation communities and strong advocacy on our behalf. We have had significant investment since my election in 2014, but there is a lot of work left to be done.