Labor Senator makes a visit to introduce Federal candidate

Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill visited Cobar last week with Labor’s candidate for the Federal Seat of Parkes, Jack Ayoub. While Jack didn’t get the support of the voters when he last ran for the position in 2019, Senator O’Neill believes change is in the air for the west and Jack is now the man for the job.

Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill paid a visit to Cobar last week to introduce La-bor’s candidate for the Parkes electorate in the upcoming Federal election.
Senator O’Neill said she believes a change is in the air out west and feels Labor’s candidate, Jack Ayoub from Coonabarabran, is the new man for the job.
She said Labor has a plan to usurp current Parkes MP, Mark Coulton (Nationals Party) as Senator O’Neill feels Mr Coulton had failed in his time in office “to put the electorate on the map politically”.
“It’s a quiet backwater. That’s a waste of a position in parliament, we need someone with energy and vision,” she said.
The Nationals have held the Parkes seat since 1984 when the division was proclaimed at a redistribution.
Mr Coulton has held the seat since 2007.
Senator O’Neill said following Labor’s re-cent historic by-election win of Bega (which had been held by the Liberals since 1988), she’s also confident in Labor’s chances in Parkes.
“I think the timing is really good for Jack, and for Labor out here to recover this seat, and send a passionate advocate who is actually going to work, like a dog I suppose.”
“And if I get onto that bone, you’ll be an-noyed with me,” Jack quipped.
In addition to talking to The Weekly, the Senator and Jack also spent some time meet-ing and listening to locals at the Empire Ho-tel.
“By far the biggest thing we were talking about was water and power,” Jack said.
“Cobar has enormous capacity, but it needs those lifelines of water and power, and I think from that, if you look at the broader area, look at Wilcannia and Bourke and other places, I see Cobar becoming a hub for those communi-ties.”
The pair also spoke of their concerns regard-ing a lack of healthcare in regional areas.
“I was on the senate of inquiries into GP’s and there has been some quite remarkable evidence around the country,” Senator O’Neill said.
“This is not a problem just in NSW, this is a systemic problem created by the government, but the reality is of the current graduating doc-tors only 15 percent are considering becoming a GP.”
Jack credits his ‘Labor roots’ to his working class upbringing, and in particular the influ-ences of his father.
“He was a Keating man, he loved Paul Keat-ing and it just got distilled within me being around people who were on worksites all the time.
“This sense of fairness, this sense of who we are broadly as Australians, at our best, when we back each other up.”
Jack said he felt Labor’s ethos aligned with his personal values.
“The Labor party has a clear history and philosophy of backing people and picking them up when they are down so that’s funda-mentally why I joined the Labor party.
“Labor gets in and does stuff, the Liberal/Nationals manage things, they just sit at the steering wheel,” he said.
“For a young man, his life experience has fortified him, he’s been through a lot and I think he’s much more mature than his years, his life experience is within this community and of this community.
“He understands it deeply,” Senator O’Neill said.—Article compiled by Macleay College journalist student Holly McGuinness