New Gold Coast MP Angie Bell has used her maiden speech in Federal Parliament to promise to put the needs of residents first.
More than two months after being elected as the Member for Moncrieff, Ms Bell outlined her vision and ambitions while thanking those who supported her entry into federal politics.
The 51-year-old spoke glowingly about the Gold Coast describing it as a ‘harmonious melting pot.’
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“What a great place the Gold Coast is to live and work! Our lifestyle is the envy of Australians nationwide, and, indeed, of visitors from across the globe.
“I’m truly delighted to live in and serve the city of opportunity, the home of the entrepreneurial spirit; of self-made people and families, of iconic surf brands and sporting greats, of developers and real estate tycoons; the mecca of tourism and the natural home of small business.”
Ms Bell also highlighted the importance of tourism to the Gold Coast and her vision of making the city the premier domestic destination and to also improve international visitor numbers.
She also pointed to the some of the key policy areas that she wants to make a contribution to including health, aged care, small and family business, employment, education, tourism and investment, defence and veterans’ affairs and Indigenous affairs.
The first openly gay woman to represent a major party in the House of Representatives, Ms Bell also spoke of her sexuality.
“While I do not consider this my highest achievement to date, nor my defining quality, I appreciate that, for many in the community and in the party, it is indeed a special milestone. I celebrate that achievement with them and stand with the LGBTIQ community and other minority groups to celebrate diversity.
“I acknowledge that, in a world where in some countries your sexuality can have you imprisoned, persecuted or even killed, it says a lot about Australia that our tolerant, free democracy can be fully and openly represented in our nation’s parliament.”
“I hope that my presence in this place reminds young people and all Australians that sexual preference is no barrier to career aspirations or life goals.”
Ms Bell finished her speech by pledging to do all she can for residents on the Gold Coast.
“I promise to shine a light on your needs and work with you for a better and stronger future for you and your families. It’s my ambition to mark my time in office with a record of humble contributions to you, my wonderful community of friends, neighbours and family.
“But, most importantly, I promise to put your needs before all else. That is my pledge to you.”