Read at 5:38pm on the 21st of November 2019, in the NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly

In my Christmas felicitations for 2019 I note that I have survived my first eight months as the member for Goulburn, and what an eventful eight months I have had so far. I am truly blessed to represent the wonderful people of the Goulburn electorate and I am extremely proud to be a part of a government that delivers for regional New South Wales. I am incredibly proud of the New South Wales Government’s election commitments in my electorate—totalling the staggering approximate sum of $110 million—which include hospitals, the Moss Vale bypass, the Goulburn Aquatic centre redevelopment, a residential drug and rehabilitation facility, a new water treatment plant in Yass, a new hall for Yass High School and a new police station for Goulburn.

A few other milestones for my electorate include the completion of the New Lansdowne Bridge in Goulburn, the progression of the Barton Highway duplication, planning works are well underway for a new school in Murrumbateman, preliminary investigations into faster rail, the new ambulance station for Goulburn that is almost complete and the completion of the new Yass ambulance station. At this time of year as many other funding streams are coming to a close, I look forward to the outcomes of some of the smaller plights for funding from our community grassroots organisations. These community groups are the backbone of our regional communities. I am very excited to see the outcomes of the third round of the Stronger Country Communities program as well as the Community Building Partnership program.

I have so enjoyed getting to know better all parts of my electorate and witnessing the countless volunteers who support their communities every day. We have some wonderful people doing some wonderful things. In particular I thank the emergency services people who go above and beyond to make our communities safe. I say thank you also to their families, who also sacrifice so much as our emergency services people so selflessly serve. Not only in my electorate but all over this great State, the people of New South Wales hope they get to share some Christmas spirit during the festive season.

I am very aware that in carrying out my role of serving this State and the communities of my electorate I do so as a part of a team. I am very lucky to have a wonderful team behind me. Firstly I thank my hardworking staff, senior electorate officer Alicia Croker, electorate officers Cheryl Callanan and Paige Penning. I say a big thank you to Amy Gann and Maret Rebane for joining the team when needed. I thank them for their loyalty, their passion and their hard work during what has been a challenging year.

I could not conclude my speech without thanking my family, particularly my husband, Michael. I thank him for his understanding and support throughout the year. To my many supporters during the election, my loyal Goulburn electorate branch members and volunteers, I appreciate all that you have done and continue to do. I also thank my parliamentary colleagues, particularly the Premier and her staff, the leadership team, the Government Whip, Mr Crouch and his team, particularly Ben, who have given the newbies so much support, guidance and advice. It has been very much appreciated. Likewise, I thank the parliamentary staff, who have also been very helpful. Thank you.

For me, Christmas has always been a time to spend with family and loved ones to think about the year’s achievements and start planning for the year ahead. This year will be a very special one as it will be with our first granddaughter, Letty. To be with family back in Boorowa on the farm will be very special. But make no mistake: My greatest wish for Christmas is for it to rain. It is important we support those whose livelihoods and properties have been ravaged by drought and fire. I too take this opportunity to encourage my constituents to shop local. Support your local businesses and buy from the bush when possible. Every little bit counts. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing to deliver for the communities of the Goulburn electorate. I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.