Reflecting on 2014
Welcome to the 2014 Christmas edition of McCormack Reports.
I am always profoundly moved by the Australian people’s compassion and resolve in the face of tragedy.
Whether it’s in the face of bushfires that so often blight our summers, random accidents that cut a young life short or the terrible actions of a crazed individual, it is in times of trouble that the true character of Australia shines through.
It has been another busy year as your local Federal Member. Whether it’s a frank exchange of views over a cup of tea or presenting certificates at a school assembly, I have loved getting out and about in this wonderful part of Australia that we call home.
To give you a snapshot, in 2014 I have driven nearly 80,000 km across the Riverina, spoken on your behalf in the House of Representatives 148 times and attended numerous meetings and events in the electorate from Cabramurra to Adelong, Bongongo to Coolac, Goolgowi to Hillston and many more localities in between! You can find out just where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to from my Facebook page.
I am proud that we have been able to secure funding for important local projects like the new Kapooka Bridge, additional CCTV cameras for Wagga Wagga and a Headspace for Griffith. There is always more to do and I will keep on making the case to my colleagues on important local issues.
In my first year as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance I have greatly enjoyed getting to grips with my areas of the portfolio. From sod-turnings on building sites to debt waivers for dentists it’s been a great introduction to the portfolio and the Department of Finance. A highlight was turning the first sod at the new Post Entry Quarantine Facility (PEQF) in Melbourne. Coming from the Riverina I know just how important biosecurity is for our primary producers and the PEQF will be an important piece of quarantine infrastructure.
2015 is shaping up to be another big year. There’s still plenty to do in repairing the nation’s finances, as we were reminded with the release of the 2014-15 Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). You can read more about MYEFO further on.
I am proud to be a member of the Nationals team and I can tell you – with apologies to Mark Twain – that rumours of the death of the Nationals are greatly exaggerated. I am excited about where we are as a Party and where we are headed. If you’re after a spot of summer reading, I’ve penned a few thoughts on the topic for your consideration. On the subject of summer reading (and the Nationals!) I’m looking forward to getting stuck into Black Jack McEwen’s recently reprinted autobiography.
Christmas is just around the corner, and summer is well upon us. I encourage you all to drive carefully on the roads over the festive season. As temperatures continue to rise I also encourage you to make sure that you and your family have a fire plan in place.
If you’re making a last minute dash to buy a gift for a friend or loved one, I encourage you to think local and buy local.
On behalf of myself, my family and staff, I wish you a happy and safe Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Please enjoy the final edition of McCormack Reports for 2014 and I look forward to seeing you out and about in the Riverina in 2015.