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Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Page: 7193

Mr JOHN COBB (Calare) (10:09): I wish to briefly speak about my electorate of Calare, my involvement in politics and my hope for the future of our region. The Calare electorate has changed dramatically over the years and today covers an area of over 30,000 square kilometres from Lithgow in the east to Tullamore in the west. Calare is arguably the engine room of New South Wales, being rich in agriculture, mining and forestry. Without a doubt, it is one of the better places to live in our country.

I came to this parliament in 2001 as a person without higher education or tertiary degrees, but I did bring to it experience in life and in representing country people and, perhaps more importantly, in surviving and even prospering as a small business man, a farmer. Most of my professional career and family life has been centred in the central west. Lisa and I live in Molong and I have a sister, daughters and grandchildren around Orange and the central west, so I have a vested interest in ensuring that our region of Calare gets a fair go.

In my time as a federal member I have travelled pretty widely, particularly in the central west and in the nooks and crannies of Calare, listening to people from all walks of life and assisting them with federal issues. Never have I seen so much despondency with federal politics than recently. I, the National Party and the coalition plan to change all that. What we need in our rural communities more than ever is hope and optimism—optimism to go about everyday life without the constant threat that government is lurking around the corner waiting to whack you for daring to try to get ahead.

It is up to the coalition—and we will start the process—to turn country Australia into the powerhouse it has been, that it must be, that it will be and that it should be. I believe the electorate of Calare offers the greatest example of what country Australia has been in the past and will be again. We have to resuscitate our country, ensuring a prosperous future for all and, therefore, a prosperous future for Australians.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.