Dan Repacholi was elected as a member for the federal seat of Hunter in the 2022 election following the retirement of Joel Fitzgibbon. He will be providing a regular column to keep readers up to date with issues concerning the electorate.
Creating good, well paid local jobs, making sure every child has access to a good education and a shot at their dream job, making sure our workplaces are safe and people are properly paid, delivering good and affordable health and aged care, making sure our region gets the services and infrastructure we need to help our communities grow and thrive.
These are the things that drove me to become a Member of Parliament, and these are just some of the things I will be fighting for.
This week, the first sitting of the 47th Parliament will take place and Members and Senators will be officially sworn in.
My family and friends will be joining me to watch the official proceedings. My first task will be working with the highest levels within the Albanese Government to make sure the Hunter doesn't miss out on opportunities now and into the future.
The new Government will begin by introducing 18 pieces of legislation into Parliament, including Bills to legislate a 2030 emissions reduction target, provide for 10 days of annual paid domestic and family violence leave, mandate nurses in aged care homes and establish new jobs and skills to drive VET education and strengthen workforce planning.
These are the first steps we must make to address the challenges in our economy.
It's a start and there will be more to come including legislation around Same Job, Same Pay and a federal Integrity Commission.
I'm looking forward to getting on with the job of implementing the change that the Hunter and Australia voted for.
Last week, our Health Minister, the Hon Mark Butler MP, announced residents in the Hunter electorate will soon have easier availability to a bigger pool of doctors following changes to the Distribution Priority Area.
During the election campaign I heard firsthand the horror stories of people waiting days and even weeks to be able to get into see their GP.
Coupled with the cuts made by the previous Government to the opening hours of the GP Access After Hours Service in Toronto, it has made it almost impossible for some to see a doctor while they are sick, so our Emergency Departments are overcrowded with people seeking medical help.
These changes will allow more doctors to work in rural and regional Australia.
This means we can now recruit from a larger pool of doctors to work locally and will mean residents from Muswellbrook to Cessnock and Lake Macquarie, including Morisset, Cooranbong, Toronto, and right across the Hunter electorate, now have access to a broader pool of available GPs, which means improved access to quality care and reduced waiting times.
I continue to get out and about to speak with as many people, groups, businesses and stakeholders as I can, so I get across the issues in the electorate.
As always, my office is open and ready to assist you with any federal government issues you may have. I look forward to hearing from you and working with our community to deliver for the Hunter.
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