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Troy's Column

The Member for Dubbo

Friday, May 06, 2011
With joy and sincerity I pledged my loyalty to the people of NSW when I was sworn into the opening of the 55th NSW Parliament. The occasion was both moving and exciting for me and marked the beginning of what I envisage as a long and successful term of delivering for the Dubbo and district communities. I was one of seven new National MPs to be elected to the Legislative Assembly ensuring better representation for the people living in regional areas. Twenty-one years ago I swore an oath to serve the community as a police officer, now I have sworn an oath of allegiance of a different kind, to serve the community in a broader capacity. Whilst it saddens me to officially hang up my police hat I am more than passionate about my new job in giving the electorate the TLC it needs after 16 years of neglect in government.
I was also privileged to be appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources, a role which will see me become like a virtual bridge between parliament and the Dubbo electorate. Working closely with Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson, the new appointment will enable me to have an even greater input into issues affecting our electorate such as water and native vegetation. I intend to make the most of this opportunity to make our voice heard. The new role will not diminish my commitment to the Dubbo electorate, instead it will tie me in closely with the decision making process with leadership teams. It's rare thing that a new MP is elected to a senior position hence why I'm humbled to be appointed and ready to get down to business.
The Murray Darling Basin Plan is one issue into which I will have greater input through my new appointment. The Murray Darling Basin stretches from Eumungerie in the north to Canowindra in the south and covers area of more than 20,000 square kilometres. I have lived and worked along many of the communities that will feel the impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. It’s important that we get the balance right and ensure that river communities like Forbes and Narromine survive. The state government has an important role to play, and I’m pleased that both Minister Hodgkinson and myself actually live in the basin and understand the important role of irrigation to towns in western NSW. Dubbo is an area and a community that is also central to natural resource issues such as sustainable water management, including the development of the Murray Darling Basin Plan; forestry; stakeholder engagement in natural resource management via catchment management authorities; and improving bio-security outcomes and ensuring food security. I look forward to helping ensure we manage this state’s natural resources in a manner that allows us to pass the state on in good shape for future generations.
Reinstating the Newell Highway's 110 kilometre limit after it was lowered to one-hundred by the previous government; police numbers and conducting community consultations to find a new site for the controversial Mitchell House project for former jail inmates in Dubbo are some of the key issues I hope to deal with promptly.
The recent state election represented a massive win for the Nationals and I'm proud as punch to be part of a team committed to delivering on our plans to make regional NSW number one again.

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