I am both honoured and humbled to have been elected Deputy Leader of The Nationals Federal Parliamentary Team along with Leader David Littleproud and Senate Leader Bridget McKenzie.
As a long-term member of The Nationals with extensive family connections in the Party, I can think of no higher honour than to be part of the leadership team working with my colleagues to defend the regions and make sure we hold the new Government to account for the next three years.
Our leadership team is committed to the long-term to ensure that the good work we did in Government, such as investing in the regional health workforce and regional connectivity programs to name just two, are not forgotten.
It is also important for us to make sure that on the path to Net Zero by 2050, the burden and cost does not fall disproportionately on our regional industries and communities. We need to stand by our key industries as they lower emissions, but not tax them or shut them down prematurely. We also need to ensure our farmers, who are our environmental stewards, can take advantage of the opportunities of a lower emissions future to build productivity and market advantage.
I personally want to thank former Leader Barnaby Joyce, and Michael McCormack before him, for their role in maintaining The Nationals representation in the Parliament. Under their leadership the Nationals made sure the Inland Rail is being built, that the Murray Darling Medical School is established, as well as delivering thousands of infrastructure projects across the country.
I also want to thank my colleagues in the Party Room. We have a process that ensures democracy, respect, and confidence so that now we can march on united in our goal of getting regional Australia a fair and better deal.