Spotlight on Regional Banking

Access to banking services is becoming increasingly difficult for regional Australians. In the 4 years leading up to June 2021, 25% of regional bank branches closed or significantly reduced their hours. These closures, and reduced hours, are incredibly frustrating for locals, particularly those who are unable to use online services to conduct their banking. Once…

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Merry Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas. Christmas for me is all about connecting with loved ones and celebrating life. You, like me, may not be able to recite the poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas’, but the anticipation expressed by Clement Clarke Moore is very real, especially if we have little ones who just cannot wait for tomorrow to…

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Regional Training Essential for Bush Healthcare

Your health care should not be determined by your postcode. Here in Mallee, we are fortunate to have wonderful, skilled professionals who dedicate their working lives to providing excellent health care for our community. But they also experience great fatigue and strain due to workforce shortages. These pressures go beyond COVID, despite the unprecedented burden…

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Volunteers the Unsung Heroes

Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our local communities. They are the ones helping to put meals on the tables, assisting the elderly, providing friendship for the lonely, giving counsel and comfort to the fragile, keeping our local sports clubs running, and providing a vibrant social calendar for the locals. There is so much that…

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Religious Bill a Shield, Not a Sword

Protections against discrimination are a hallmark of free civil society. In recent census results, most Australians aligned themselves with a religious faith, with only 30% of Australians nominating ‘no religion’. This week in Parliament, the Federal Government took an important step to provide people of faith with the protections they deserve through the introduction of…

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Sensible Australians Voice Concern

Disturbing images have emerged from the protests in Melbourne this week. It is disappointing that the behaviour of the minority taint the behaviour of the vast majority of those who have peacefully protested. This behaviour is inexcusable. I stand with the Prime Minister who this week rightly condemned the acts when he said that the…

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Blanket Jeopardising Ag Industry

This week, a Fair Work Commission decision ruled that farmers will no longer be able to pay piecework provisions for workers, but instead must pay a minimum wage of $25 an hour. This may seem like good news for pickers, but there’s always a bigger picture to consider. Unfair generalisations about growers have been broadcast…

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Pandemic Powers Undermines Democracy

After restricting the movement of Victorians for the best part of two years, Premier Daniel Andrews is once again taking aim at our democracy. The Premier is attempting to rush through legislation that will give him and the Health Minister ultimate control to declare pandemics and make public health orders. Victoria’s State of Emergency powers…

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Confusion for Freedom Day

Understanding the new COVID-19 restrictions on businesses is an impossible task. This week hospitality and beauty businesses were thrown into a tailspin when the requirement for full vaccination of their workforce was brought forward from the 26 November to yesterday – our ‘Freedom Day’.  Last minute policy on the run. To make matters worse, the…

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