Residents from the Ivanhoe area have contacted my office recently to advise that they weren’t made aware of a Remote Voter Services team visiting the town ahead of the 2023 Referendum on a Voice to Parliament.

I reached out to the Australian Electoral Commission for answers about this, and to seek a solution, as I believe there’s an assumption that people Australia-wide receive all of their information online. This is just not true for remote areas or older Australians, many of whom are struggling to access voting opportunities. I have since been notified that this matter has been referred to the AEC’s State Office for further advice. I’m encouraging constituents who may have missed out on a Remote Voter Service or will struggle to access a polling booth to call the AEC on 13 23 26.

Coalition consults about water

Last week the Coalition Backbench Committee on Agriculture’s tour of Murray Darling Basin communities arrived in Moree. Shadow Minister for Water Senator Perin Davey and Senator Matthew Canavan joined me as well as community members, stakeholders and representatives from Local Government to discuss the impact of Labor’s Water Act Amendments.

The impact of indiscriminate buybacks on rural communities cannot be underestimated, and the Labor Government have not done enough to consult with these communities, which was why we have instigated this tour.

Strength in our communities

Contrary to the patronising comments I keep hearing in Parliament, Aboriginal people in the Parkes electorate are not helpless or hopeless – they are achieving great things.

I wanted to emphasise this in a speech I made recently, with examples from communities in my electorate. Positive change in communities comes from the grass-roots, not the top down. I’m a great advocate for focusing on our strengths, and where Aboriginal constituents in the Parkes electorate are concerned, there are many, and I want to acknowledge and celebrate that.

We need to acknowledge and celebrate too, the representation we have in Parliament and many Local Governments by Aboriginal leaders who have been democratically elected under our current systems by people of all backgrounds. As the polls open, I encourage everyone to turn up and make your vote count for what will be an historic Referendum.

To order photos from this page click here