FEDERAL member for New England Tony Windsor has announced a date for his third in a series of public electorate meetings.
Mr Windsor has claimed February 9 for his Inverell meeting, at which he says he wants to discuss issues like the hung Parliament.
Late last year he hosted meetings in Armidale and Tamworth, and this week confirmed he’d locked in a date for Inverell – February 19 at the RSM club from 7.30pm.
About 110 people attended the Tamworth meeting on December 13, and more than 250 at Armidale in November.
When he announced the Inverell meeting last month, Mr Windsor said he was looking forward to having more frank discussions with members of the electorate.
“Inverell has punched above its weight for a town its size, in terms of its influence on national policy during this Parliament,” Mr Windsor said.
“Input from Dan Ryan at Boss Engineering led to the carbon farming package including a rebate for no-till farming equipment, while representations made by Keri Brown of Inverell Trucking ensured heavy vehicle transport was excluded from the carbon pricing scheme, ultimately saving the transport industry $1.6 billion.”
He said discussions with Ed Evans, who has commercialised his Safer Gates design for cattle yards, were followed by an expansion of a government safety scheme to help pay for cattleyard safety upgrades.
“Next year, the rollout of the National Broadband Network will reach the towns and rural areas surrounding Inverell, with the delivery of fixed-wireless services,” Mr Windsor said.
“I will also continue to push the federal government to commit funding to the Gonski reforms, which will deliver an historic boost to the quality of education in country schools.”
Mr Windsor said he felt Inverell had been let down badly in the state political arena by the failure of the O’Farrell government to put forward the Armidale hospital redevelopment for a share of the $1.8 billion federal fund he negotiated especially for regional hospitals, which meant Inverell would have to wait even longer for its own hospital upgrade.
“I will also be discussing the viewpoint that my efforts following the last election – to carefully analyse the policies of both major parties and then determine which one would offer the best deal for local people – somehow equates to trashing the so-called ‘independent brand’,” Mr Windsor said.
He is inviting all Inverell community members to attend the meeting, regardless of their political persuasion.
Mr Windsor said he intended to hold more public meetings in other parts of the New England later this year.