Published: 19 December 2022

As the end of 2022 rapidly approaches, our community prepares for the festive season and for many, a break from work and time for family and reflection.

After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic many people are feeling tired and feeling the pressure of rising costs of living, housing shortages, prolonged waiting times for healthcare and ever-increasing power bills, just to name a few.

My role in the Tasmanian Parliament is one of representing the people of Murchison and scrutinising the actions, policies and decisions of Government. It also means working to ensure our voices are heard and believed in Hobart.

This was vital when the Cam River Bridge was damaged and it was difficult to ensure Government understood and acknowledged the lived reality and impact on this region.

Communication is key to successful outcomes. Our region provides significant economic benefit to Tasmania and a second bridge is crucial. Such critical infrastructure must be prioritised by Government.

Access to housing is a crisis point in Tasmania’s North West. The region requires a range of housing including social housing, worker accommodation, disability accessible and affordable housing.

Access to timely health care, including an ambulance when needed, continue to fail to meet community needs.

Energy prices and other cost-of-living pressures are pushing many into financial stress. This is a matter Federal and State governments must work collaboratively to address, acknowledging factors beyond our control play a significant part.

I will continue to advocate on these matters during 2023 and beyond.

Whilst Christmas creates a special time for families to connect and enjoy time together, these very real challenges do not magically disappear. It can also be a time where tensions can overflow and financial pressures increase, heightening anxiety and stress levels.

There’s a risk of escalation of family violence in such stressful situations. We all need to understand how and when to offer support. For those needing assistance, please reach out to others or call Tasmanian LifeLine (1800 984 434) or 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit the relevant websites. Those who can offer a listening ear or practical assistance, please do so, and as a community support each other.

The festive season can be a time of joy, family, relaxation and good times with friends. I wish all a safe, happy time for all to start 2023 refreshed.

The Advocate, Monday 19 December 2022

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