The Batemans Bay Chamber hosted a business breakfast for members and Warren Mundine (Lib.), Katrina Hodgkinson (NPA) and Fiona Phillips (Lab.), at the Soldiers Club on Tuesday, 30 April.
Each political guest was allowed several minutes to present their credentials and their vision for the Eurobodalla Shire. Following each presentation, members were invited to ask questions.
Chamber President was MC and presented statistics that dramatically underlined the employment and economic issues suffered within the Eurobodalla Shire. For example, unemployment runs at 13 plus percent unemployment for Batemans Bay which is 3 times the state average.
In summary and in order of their presentation;
Katrina Hodgkinson presented her credentials, a former small business owner and with more than 20 years’ experience, including four years as a Minister in the NSW Government, two years as Parliamentary Secretary and eight years as a Shadow Minister.
A strong advocate of decentralisation, having delivered Government jobs to parts of the Gilmore electorate and by improving regional services to farmers through the establishment of Local and Services, her main priorities are;
The proper upgrade of the Princes Highway,
Mental health support,
Infrastructure improvements for public facilities,
Next presenter was Warren Mundine, Born in country NSW he has spent over half his life in regional Australia. His mother’s family are Yuin people from the South Coast. His Grandfather and his people come from Moruya and his Grandmother people are from Kiama.
Warren has spent most of his life dedicated to helping Australia’s most disadvantaged people achieve economic prosperity. He believes that small business is the backbone of Australia’s economy and that the solution to welfare poverty is a job. His main priorities are;
Support for small business,
Bring new jobs to the region,
And to fight for much needed infrastructure – including vital upgrades to the Princes Highway and the delivery of the new Nowra bridge.
Finally, Fiona Phillips addressed members, as a mother of four, a former TAFE teacher and a small business owner. Born on a dairy farm, Fiona has lived in the Gilmore electorate for over 40 years, and now lives a Callala.
Fiona has a Batchelor of Economics and a Master in Business, with over 20 years employment in retail, Defence and TAFE teaching. She got involved in politics in 2009 campaigning for six years to save Nowa’s pool. In the 2016 election she came within 752 votes of being elected as the ALP member for Gilmore. Fiona’s main priorities are;
Provision of better education and work opportunities for young people,
Retain youth within our region,
Improvements to infrastructure.
Questions asked from the floor covered the subjects of lack of apprenticeship training, need for decentralisation of services to regional areas. Improved infrastructure for tourism and transport, and youth engagement.