With a stirring inaugural speech which acknowledged the strength and contribution of women and local communities, new MP for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman is firmly focused on driving forward opportunities for the electorate and addressing its challenges.
“There’s a lot to do,” she said when asked about priorities for her first year in office.
“Our electorate was allocated considerable funding for projects and I want to ensure those projects will be delivered in a timely fashion.”
With almost three months since the March 2019 NSW election, Ms Tuckerman has been busy meeting with the NSW Treasurer and relevant Ministers to ensure the planning and funding for projects promised during the election campaign are underway.
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“These commitments include wiping the education maintenance backlog, getting started on Murrumbateman Primary School and Yass High’s Community Hall, the provision of a drug rehabilitation centre for the region, getting the planning started for the Police station for Goulburn and a bypass for Moss Vale,” Ms Tuckerman said.
“We also have to deliver the Goulburn Hospital, the Yass Hospital, and the Crookwell Hospital redevelopments.”
As a former Mayor of Boorowa Council – the first woman to hold that position – and local grazier, Ms Tuckerman is not new to the ‘big issues’ the electorate faces. However, meeting constituents since the election in the various regions, towns and villages, has provided insight into the opportunities and challenges across the electorate.
Water security and quality is a top priority. There was an election commitment to fund the Yass water treatment facility and, in Boorowa, water security and funding for a pipeline is needed. Roads and mobile service black spots are issues she would like to address, “so no area is disadvantaged”.
Opportunities for the Goulburn electorate typically focus on its location along the Hume corridor and the potential for decentralization and attraction of new business.
“I’m very keen to foster an environment between all levels of government to ensure our electorate is the first choice for business to relocate or for new businesses to set up,” she said.
“Within our electorate, there is wonderful diversity of landscapes, product, and agri-tourism potential and some fantastic work already being achieved to bring tourists to the area, we need to continue to value-add and sell our region as a great place to visit and experience.”
Ms Tuckerman delivered her inaugural speech to Parliament recently and has been actively learning about how Parliament operates and the best ways to ‘get things done’ as an MP.
“The Premier, other MPs, and parliamentary staff have been very helpful whilst navigating my way around Parliament, learning processes and how to get things done…I’ve been fortunate to have made a lot of connections during my time in Local Government, so I’m meeting a lot of familiar faces along the way.”
Away from Macquarie Street though, it’s the diverse communities within her electorate that inspire her.
“We are privileged to have people that value community and volunteers that go above and beyond to foster a sense of community for all. And that’s what is great about living and working in regional NSW, a great place to raise a family, to work and to enjoy what a sense of community brings. It just doesn’t get any better than right here in the Goulburn electorate.”
Following her win in March, Ms Tuckerman acknowledged the Goulburn electorate could not be taken for granted. Strong polling from the then ALP candidate Ursula Stephens, and competition from the minor parties including the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, has further cut into the LNP’s margin.
“With the strength of the other candidates, including Ursula Stephens, no-one can take the seat for granted. It’s a marginal seat now,” Ms Tuckerman said at the time.
The seat’s marginal status will continue to work in its favour; however, Ms Tuckerman is already demonstrating her priority on delivering for the Goulburn electorate.
You can read Ms Tuckerman’s inaugural speech here.