Symes’ re­gion view

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - BY JUSTIN JENVEY jjen­[email protected] nem edia.com .au

NEW La­bor Min­is­ter Ja­clyn Symes (pic­tured) says job cre­ation and re­ten­tion are her big­gest pri­or­i­ties for the North East.

Ms Symes re­tained her seat in the Vic­to­rian Up­per House as one of five mem­bers for North­ern Vic­to­ria and will also have added re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as the Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment, Agri­cul­ture and Re­sources.

She said she’s look­ing for­ward to us­ing her newly ac­quired port­fo­lios to help the re­gion grow.

“The best thing about my port­fo­lios is that they’re coun­try fo­cused so for some­one who likes get­ting out and talk­ing to com­mu­ni­ties and work­ing with them on their pri­or­i­ties it’s great,” Ms Symes said.

“It means I can con­tinue my work from the past four years and con­tinue to be ac­ces­si­ble to coun­try peo­ple.

“We’ve got one of the most beau­ti­ful re­gions in the state and we’ve got dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties for grow­ing in­dus­tries par­tic­u­larly in food and fi­bre and the wine in­dus­try which is kick­ing goals.

“I’m ex­cited to be able to work in th­ese ar­eas in a min­is­te­rial ca­pac­ity and also in re­la­tion to re­new­ables and job cre­ation.

“We’ve got a very am­bi­tious re­gion when it comes to low­er­ing emis­sions and it’s some­thing that has re­ally been em­braced in places like Mi­lawa and Yackan­dan­dah.

“In my view there are a lot of syn­er­gies be­tween re­new­ables, agri­cul­ture and re­gional de­vel­op­ment so they’re ar­eas that I’m pretty keen to ex­plore.”

Af­ter only hav­ing her seat con­firmed last Tues­day, Ms Symes was the last min­is­ter to be sworn in at a cer­e­mony that took place on Thurs­day night.

She was the fifth per­son elected for North­ern Vic­to­ria af­ter fel­low La­bor mem­ber Mark Gepp, Wendy Lovell (Lib­eral), Tim Quilty (Liberial Democrats) and Wan­garatta’s own Ta­nia Maxwell (Jus­tice Party).

“My hus­band was par­tic­u­larly anx­ious for the two and a half weeks (while votes were counted) but I was rea­son­ably re­laxed, only be­cause I went through this four years ago, it was ac­tu­ally a lit­tle closer last time,” Ms Symes said.

“I was also in the for­tu­nate po­si­tion of be­ing pro­vi­sion­ally ap­pointed as a min­is­ter so I was ab­sorb­ing in­for­ma­tion on my new port­fo­lios in an un­of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity, so that was a nice dis­trac­tion.

“I was a lit­tle bit ner­vous on Tues­day, be­ing the but­ton push­ing day, but now that it’s over I’m re­ally grate­ful the peo­ple of North­ern Vic­to­ria are happy to put their trust in me again.”

Ms Symes con­firmed shortly af­ter the Novem­ber’s elec­tion that La­bor would keep its $10 mil­lion fund­ing prom­ise for a third stage of de­vel­op­ment at North East Health in Wan­garatta.

She said she would fol­low through on her other pledges.

“I’m proud of my elec­tion com­mit­ments, they are what I will be de­liv­er­ing and I’m al­ways happy to work with any com­mu­nity on their pri­or­i­ties,” Ms Symes said.

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