A newly elected Queensland MP with a background in local politics wants the federal government to increase its assistance to councils across Australia.
After starting his career as a tomato and mango farmer, Andrew Willcox most recently served as mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council.
The resignation of George Christensen gave Mr Willcox the opportunity to make the jump to federal parliament as the new Liberal National Party member for the Dawson electorate.
“I know when all three tiers of government work together, all Australians benefit,” he told parliament during his first speech on Wednesday.
Mr Willcox said he would push the Albanese government to increase federal assistance grants for councils to one per cent of taxation.
“These organisations are essential to providing the services our ratepayers rely on,” he said.
“This funding is critical to the people of our rural and regional towns.”
Mr Willcox described his central Queensland electorate, which stretches from Mackay to Townsville, as a powerhouse region that punched above its weight.
“My hometown of Bowen and surrounds … is responsible for over half a billion dollars in horticultural products, helping to feed our nation and the world,” he said.
“I will be unashamedly pushing for our region’s fair share because a fairer Australia will benefit the nation and all Australians.”