Steph Cooke MP is sworn into parliament

MEMBER FOR COOTAMUNDRA: Steph Cooke MP is sworn into parliament.
MEMBER FOR COOTAMUNDRA: Steph Cooke MP is sworn into parliament.

A focus on road and infrastructure funding, youth mental health and small business is a priority for the electorate, newly inaugurated Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP highlighted in her maiden speech.

Standing before her parliamentary colleagues in the NSW Legislative Assembly, Ms Cooke reaffirmed her pledge to the people of the electorate of Cootamundra.

“I am here to fight for you and alongside you... I have never been more humbled nor more determined in my life.”

Ms Cooke applauded the $500 million that had been spent on roads by the Coalition government in the electorate since 2011, but acknowledged that there was still more work to be done.

“Special attention must shine on the now infamous Bells Line of Road and improving the Lachlan Valley Way—to name but two of our critical routes.”

Special attention must shine on the now infamous Bells Line of Road.

Steph Cooke - Member for Cootamundra

Ms Cooke is also an advocate for youth mental health.

“Too often we hear of our young people—our future—engaging in self-harm and even taking their own lives.

For those of us who had the most simple and delightful upbringing in our idyllic towns, these tragedies are as distressingly perplexing as they are heartbreaking.”

The Member for Cootamundra was also keen to highlight her small business roots, noting how the $50 million announced through the Connecting Country Communities Fund would go towards addressing mobile blackspots.

“I will always be a strong and passionate advocate for the needs of this critical sector across my electorate.

“Small businesses provide goods and services, drive innovation, creativity, industry and growth, contribute to local charities and causes, and employ people.

“We all know that jobs change lives,” she said.