TODAY I have the pleasure of introducing Emma Kealy, Nationals MP for Lowan. Shadow Minister for Mental Health, prevention of Family Violence and Women. A fierce advocate for a fair deal for country Victorians. Emma is here today to present a prize of a new scooter. Please join with me in welcoming Emma Kealy to the microphone...
To Hindmarsh shire mayor Ron Ismay: This is just one example of an appropriate way of introducing your guest, Emma Kealy, during the Nhill skate park competition on September 29.
Introducing Emma as "the best looking politician in the state" was, and is, demoralising. Being a mother and grandmother to young Hindmarsh citizens - some of whom were in attendance at the opening - it was disappointing to hear this language used. With Emma also being a mother to a young son, this also has wider ramifications than the audience on the day of the skate park opening.
It is unfortunate when a leader with such a public profile lets down their constituents with the disrespect shown towards a fellow leader. It is leaders of the community, such as council, that should be highlighting the importance of respectful and professional language as common place rather than the display of archaic and impertinent language. As a member of the CoRE partnership, it is imperative that council leads the way in creating safe, equal and respectful communities and upholds this commitment to not only the community, but staff and other CoRE members.
The young people in the Hindmarsh community have enough pressure from society and the media and should not be receiving the message that their appearance is vital for career success from the local mayor.
Emma Kealy is a strong, professional female leader in a male-dominated industry and provides a genuine role model for the young women in Hindmarsh, the Wimmera and the Lowan region.
This is not only an issue for Hindmarsh; but also a wider societal issue.
Training and professional development opportunities can assist in addressing this issue at a local level, sending the message that Hindmarsh is a safe, equal and respectful community.
Wendy Bywaters, Nhill
Road funding welcomed
I WOULD like to acknowledge the state government on the recent announcement of a $58.9 million investment into rebuilding, resurfacing and repairing 378 kilometres of roads across Western Victoria.
In April, I met with Horsham Mayor Mark Radford and we spoke of many issues concerning the shire, which included road funding. On my return to Parliament House, I lobbied the government on behalf of the Western Victorian constituents and I stressed the urgency in which regional communities, such as Horsham Rural City, required funding to upgrade their roads. I am delighted that I was able to play my role in ensuring these funds have been invested.
I was pleased to read that work will begin on key stretches of the Henty Highway near Dooen, along with continual work on the Western Highway.
Stuart Grimley, Member for Western Victoria