FEDERAL Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, the Assistant Minister for Health, continued his Listening Post sessions throughout the electorate last week.
Meeting locally at Bulahdelah’s Plough Inn Hotel and Karuah’s Four One Six Café, enthusiastic groups of residents took the opportunity to discuss issues with their federal member.
Dr Gillespie said the Listening Post sessions were a good opportunity to directly hear the issues important to residents.
“We have been doing a lot of these, we find it is an efficient way to catch up with people,” he said.
“We have had a good response so far, people want to make sure they are heard, and we can also let them know what we are doing and have a meaningful discussion.”
Topics discussed with the MP included border protection, youth employment, penalty rates and additional medical support.
Dr Gillespie said 10-15% of new medical graduates will now go to rural areas, boosting the rural health workforce and improving access to quality health care.
The National Broadband Network, expanded aged care facilities in the local area, changes to business tax and improving the economy for all Australians were also amongst the topics discussed.
Dr Gillespie told News Of The Area, energy security was one of the biggest issues raised.
“The amount of energy embedded in items we use every day like phones and cars relies on a dependable baseload,” he said.
“Energy is paramount, we want electricity to be accessible, reliable and affordable because businesses rely on it, and families rely on it.”
Dr Gillespie said, “The current system has made electricity too expensive for many businesses, particularly energy rich industries such as metal manufacturing, industrial processing and irrigation farming.”
Dr Gillespie said the Listening Post sessions would be a regular feature over the coming months.
By John SAHYOUN