Deniliquin’s first ever Senator, Perin Davey, intends “holding people to account”.
Ms Davey will officially take up her new political position in 11 days, on Monday July 1, after being announced as a successful candidate early this week.
The Conargo woman has come a long way since starting as a cadet journalist on the Mudgee Guardian and getting involved in water policy, especially through Murray Irrigation Ltd.
Ms Davey will be one of only two NSW Senators living outside Sydney. She wants to have a Senate office in Deniliquin and also wants to ensure regional voices are heard.
“That is why I got into politics. I want to hold people to account, advocate and educate for the rural and regional communities.
‘‘I got more involved in politics a couple of years ago. What really sparked that interest and involvement was the frustration I felt because regional voices aren’t cutting through and the misinformation that comes from all over, including from the urban media and urban politicians.
‘‘When you have people like the Greens making these great claims about irrigators and how evil we are, I am going to be there to question and counter their claims and I am going to make sure they have their facts right.
‘‘I will also hold bureaucrats to account. One of the good things about the Senate is that government agencies have to come in front of us through Senate Estimates so I will have the opportunity to directly question them.
‘‘I also have a goal to educate, so people know the opportunities and hardships of living in regional Australia. We are business people and responsible people doing our jobs like anyone in the city so overall I want to bridge that divide.’’
Ms Davey said the system has led to a lack of regional voices in parliament.
“This is why it is so important to continue NSW Nationals representation in the Senate to provide a regional perspective and to stand up for regional NSW.
“I am continuing a representation that began in 1925 and which has been unbroken for the past 45 years, since 1974.
“While I will be a Senator for NSW, my concentration will be on helping people, businesses, industries and communities across the regions to close the gap in services and opportunities between the city and the country.
“In that context, I will work for all the people of regional NSW. Although I will not take up my Senate seat until July 1, my work starts now. So, let it begin,” Ms Davey said.
Among her priorities are mobile phone blackspots, mitigating the impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and regional services and infrastructure.
Ms Davey believes if government can provide the support that is required, it will help attract private investment and more jobs in the region.
She said reviews into water markets and the socio-economic impacts of the Basin Plan are needed to mitigate or reverse the negative impacts.
Ms Davey believes there does not need to be more water recovered and the reviews need to be completed so the Basin Plan can be delivered without further hurt to communities.