Federal Parliament resumes
The 45th Parliament of Australia has resumed with an increased Nationals presence on the floor and a record number of Nationals in the ministry. The week began with both sides of government gathering to attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial and after the Welcome to Country, Prime Minister’s commencing address and swearing in of members took place, our members and senators got straight down to business.
With the formalities done twelve items of legislation were tabled, including the highly anticipated Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill. The Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Amendment Bill was re-launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce, which will strengthen our world class levy system for farmers and provide increased transparency.
The Nationals had a fantastic result in the Federal Election and that hard work paid off this week as we welcomed four new members to the parliament including our previous Orange State MP Andrew Gee, who was sworn into Federal Parliament for the first time as Member for Calare. As a NSW parliamentarian for five years, Andrew worked extremely hard to deliver terrific outcomes for communities across the Central West. We have no doubt he’ll continue to do the same in his new role.
Big congratulations must go to Member for Parkes Mark Coulton who has been elected by his peers to serve as Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives. Bringing nine years of parliamentary experience to the position, Mark is more than qualified for the job and will host foreign delegations, assist the Speaker and become the Acting Speaker in his absence. The Member for Parkes was honoured to be chosen but has been quick to assure his constituents that representing and delivering for Western NSW will remain his top priority.
After six years as Chief Party Whip, Mark will be handing over his position to Central Queensland colleagues Member for Dawson, George Christensen.