The new State Member for Barwon, Roy Butler, delivered his inaugural speech to Parliament last week and outlined his goals for the next four years.
Mr Butler restated his election commitment which was “to work hard and be honest”.
He told parliament that across his electorate he had met many people “incredibly passionate about the future of their community”.
“They want recognition that at this moment in the history of NSW the government is faced with a choice,” Mr Butler said.
“They continue to treat the communities of western NSW in the same manner they have been or they change their focus and reinvigorate the bush.
“I am committed to working with the community and listening to people.
“With the aim of building a future where every child in Barwon has the same opportunities as a child in Sydney.
“To ensure that those living in far west NSW don’t continue to have their life expectancy decreased and to start opening doors for communities to thrive,” he said.
Mr Butler said the Barwon electorate is fortunate to have a large Aboriginal community, many of whom supported him throughout his campaign.
“I will use my time in Parliament to support all Aboriginal people to gain traction on
the issues that are important to them,” he vowed.
“I will work across political divides to solve problems and make decisions that will improve our collective future and most importantly our children’s future.”
Mr Butler also spoke about “quality of life”.
“We in the Barwon electorate don’t have the things that people who live in the city take for granted.
“We don’t have comprehensive public transport, we don’t have the level of public amenity, we don’t have 24 hour services,” he said.
He also spoke about the drought, saying it was more than just an extended dry period affecting communities in Barwon.
“We are now deep into a socio-economic drought, a drought that is impacting on all aspects of our communities.
“The government needs to support people so they can reach their potential, and create an unfair advantage for businesses in regional NSW.”
Mr Butler detailed specific incentives he would like to see implemented, including a five year waiver on stamp duty for commercial property and commercial vehicles; and the removal of payroll tax regional NSW.
“If we are to reinvigorate communities, we should not have to ask for or lobby for the necessities of life.
“The communities of Barwon should be able to reach for aspirational goals.
“They should be aided by the government, and should not be told what we want or need it should be up to communities.
“We in Barwon have not lost our sense of community. It is stronger than ever,” he said.