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Geraldton:          Broome:  
(08) 9964 2195    (08) 9192 7216

Canberra:          Merredin: 
(02) 6277 7840  (08) 9041 1749

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What the Papers Say

Price lays out views in speech

Almost three months after she was elected to the Federal seat of Durack, Melissa Price’s maiden parliamentary speech provided insight into her history and vision for the region.

Taking to the Parliament floor just after 4pm last Monday, Ms Price added her “voice to the very long chorus of well-wishers” who had congratulated speaker Bronwyn Bishop on her appointment. “I am confident that your experience and knowledge, and not forgetting your grace and good humour, will bring dignity and humility to this House,” Ms Price told the House of Representatives.

The Durack representative also acknowledged her background as a Kalgoorlie-born lawyer and mother, rather than a career politician.

“I am an ordinary person now with an extraordinary job … I have the job of representing the people of Durack,” she said.

“This is a huge responsibility and one that I do not take lightly, I am very humbled to have been entrusted by the people of Durack with their representation.

“I intend to work hard so that I may serve them for many years but no matter what happens I am determined to leave my mark by making Durack and Australia a better place to live.”

Continuing with a tale of how she mistakenly left school at the age of 15 because “I did not think the nuns could teach me anything further”, Ms Price gave her fellow politicians insight into her upbringing in a Labor-supporting family during tough times in the Goldfields in the 1960s and 70s.

Briefly moving away from her own background, Ms Price thanked her Durack predecessors for helping “to create the powerhouse region that Durack is today”.

In a candid moment, the former lawyer appeared to make light of herself and her past employment. “Some would say I have had a colourful work history … I was even an aerobics instructor,” she said.

“I think the House can probably judge for itself that I appear to have more in common with the fast food industry now than the fitness industry.”

Addressing the sheer size of her electorate, Australia’s largest, Ms Price told the House the region’s “future relies upon successful diversification of industry”.

“To achieve this in a region that encompasses 46 shire councils and stretches from the Midwest and the Wheatbelt through to the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley will be no easy feat,” she said. The self-proclaimed “kid from the bush” outlined affordable child care, more choices for post-secondary education, improvements to aged care facilities and telecommunications, and support for small businesses as areas of need.

Ms Price closed her speech with a reference to her daughter, Rhiannon, who died two days after this year’s WA State elections in March.

Source:   North West Telegraph, South Hedland WA

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