In the wake of the 2023 Referendum on a Voice to Parliament I know there will be many who are pleased with the outcome and also many who are deeply disappointed.

At the time of writing the results are yet to be decided, however no matter the outcome I’m encouraging constituents to be respectful and considerate towards those either side of this debate.

This Referendum has brought to light many tensions and divisions across the electorate of Parkes, especially within families. I want to remind everyone that the majority of people across this nation want the best for Aboriginal Australians, and want to Close the Gap – how this should be done has been the big question of this Referendum. If the process of debating the Voice to Parliament has had negative consequences for your mental health or that of someone you love please remember there are resources available through Lifeline Australia. Please call 13 11 14 to receive support.

Talking trade and tourism

I welcomed Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism Kevin Hogan to Dubbo, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Moree and was able to showcase some leading examples of trade and tourism in the electorate. With a focus on trade, especially export, we visited local businesses that are exporting products on the international market such as equine nutrition, citrus, various commodities and crops. The massive scale of quality production which comes out of this electorate is exceptional, and we were able to discuss strengths and barriers affecting industry in our regions.

Tourism was also a point of discussion as we travelled across the eastern side of the electorate, with plenty of caravans evidence of the growing tourist trade in these parts of NSW as well as further west.

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