A fantastic honour and great privilege, was how retiring member Katrina Hodgkinson described her time as the member for Cootamundra and Burrinjuck. Giving her valedictory in State Parliament on Wednesday, Ms Hodgkinson thanked a large number of people during the course of her speech.
“It’s not without mixed feelings that I stand here,” Ms Hodgkinson said, opening her valedictory.
Elected eighteen and one half years ago Ms Hodgkinson said she never stopped to contemplate where the road would lead her when she first stood for parliament in 1996.
“I certainly thought no more than four years, “ she said of that first unsuccessful campaign for the seat of Southern Highlands. Listed among the highlights of her career Ms Hodgkinson made special mention of her battle to secure a dialysis machine for Cowra, getting additional funding for a women’s refuge in Young.
“This is the really important stuff, this is the bread and butter of being an MP,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“The nature of the Cootamundra electorate without a major centre has made it a little bit more challenging,” she said of her time as the local member.
“There is no single big ticket item that may ease the life of those living in the Cootamundra electorate. Rather the big ticket list is over 100, it combines the infrastructure requirements of all local government in the areas I represent.
“Despite this we have had wonderful success ensuring the Cootamundra electorate has received its fair share.
Some recent highlights, Ms Hodgkinson said, included six new ambulance stations, “meaning vital emergency assistance will be close at hand when required.
Ms Hodgkinson said recent massive road funding which included funds for “bridges with strange names” which are on vital roads which keep our nation moving.
“Challenging, yet at times overwhelming and extremely rewarding,” were words Ms Hodgkinson used regarding representing the electorate she said “raised her”.