Tasmanian Labor’s newest Member of the Legislative Council has pledged to be a voice for the Huon community and fight for local jobs, health and better services.
Bastian Seidel has delivered his inaugural speech to the Upper House, vowing to advocate loudly on behalf of his community for better opportunities throughout the region.
“As a local GP, I have cared for thousands of patients over the past 10 years in Huonville, Franklin, Cygnet and on Bruny Island,” Dr Seidel said.
“I have seen people at their best and their worst, and I understand the concerns of my community, many of whom feel that they are being left behind, taken for granted and deserve better.
“Our community has experienced rapid change, with the decline of forestry, the rise in aquaculture and tourism, the loss of jobs in our region, and the rise in traffic due to ever longer commutes to work for better paying jobs in greater Hobart.
“What we really need is good jobs in our region, along with attractive public schools and opportunities for higher education, along with better community health services.
“In particular, mental health issues and domestic violence in our community must be addressed. Over the past five years alone, presentations to the Huon Domestic Violence Service have more than doubled, yet the service only has funding for two part-time staff, and there is no counsellor specifically for young people.
“Jireh House Safe Accommodation for Women in Kingston is forced to turn away more than a dozen women from the Huon each month. Supporting victims and educating the public must be an absolute priority.
“Regional Tasmanians pay the same taxes, the same levies and the same rates. There is no discounting of living costs; there should not be any discounting of health services either. I am committed to fighting for better for the people of Huon.”
Labor Member for Huon