ANNE Webster has crossed the line as House of Representatives Member for Mallee, as the ﬁnal Division in the Commonwealth was declared on Saturday.
The National Party of Australia Federal Leader Larry Anthony thanked Mallee voters for their patience and trust in strongly endorsing Anne.
“Election can’t be fought without a passionate team supporting a candidate, and I want to congratulate all our volunteers and supporters who put on a yellow t-shirt and lent a hand to help Anne and the team,” Mr Anthony said.
Volunteers for the party worked through rain, hail, dust storms or shine, to deliver ﬂyers, knock on doors and erect signs in support of Ms Webster
in the lead up to the election.
Mr Anthony said, “Our Federal team is looking forward to Anne joining the Party Room in Canberra and getting on with the job of delivering on our election commitments.”
“Our Party has a proud history representing this part of regional Victoria, and I am conﬁdent that Anne will continue to be a passionate voice for everyone in Mallee.”
Anne Webster is the ﬁfth National Party representative to hold the seat of Mallee in what turned out be a much tighter contest than most people expected.
Getting to work
“It’s a huge relief and I’m really glad the election period is now behind us and we can now get to work,” she said.
“I have received many queries from the public about a myriad of issues and we have had to wait until the formal declaration to answer these
queries and requests for support.”
“I picked up the keys to the ofﬁce yesterday and spent the
day working with staff to get myslef organised.”
Dr Webster said her ﬁrst task would be ensuring election promises are fulﬁlled.
“It is important to ensure these promises are kept,” she said.
“My second priority looking into water issues such as irrigation and pipelines while my third priority will be health care; understanding the gaps and what needs to be done.”
Infrastructure is another is sue that will take up much of the new member’s time.
Issues need addressing
She intends to look into road/rail, water, hospitals, all issues that constituents had broached with her during the election campaign.
“Any issue that impacts a family’s daily life need to be addressed and work done to ensure the Mallee gets what is needed,” Dr Webster said.
While large scale infrastructure is on her radar, so are smaller and community focused issues such as the Education Precinct in Warracknabeal.
“It is quite amazing that something like this is not completed and it isn’t good enough,” Dr Webster suggested.
She intends to create pressure where she can to ensure the state government fulﬁlls their component of any projects that are agreed upon.
Dr Webster has set a goal to conduct to regular trips across the huge electorate to keep in touch with the public.
“We are working on a plan to conduct these trips but it will take some time to get properly organised.”
She is also in discussions with stakeholders as to where she will establish electorate ofﬁces. Her predecessor, Andrew Broad, had an ofﬁce in both Mildura and Swan Hill.
“It will be all about where ofﬁces are needed to best meet
the needs of Mallee,” Dr Webster said.
Money not the focus While the incoming MP is entitled to a raft of allowances in addition to her salary, money is not a focus for her.
“I’ve volunteered my life for the past 12 years, doing the work I have for ‘Zoe Support’ so money is not the focus for me,” she said.
Dr Webster will also take over the car used by Andrew Broad rather than getting a new one or claiming any entitlement for related allowances.
She has yet to make any decisions about ﬂights and other expenses allowable within parliamentary salaries.
With 13 candidates, the most of any electorate in the country, the Mallee was the last seat to be formally declared.
There was 3.56 percent swing away from The Nationals on a two-candidate preferred basis with Labor, while overall there was a swing of just under 18 percent away from the coalition.