Keith Pitt reflects on past four years
THIS week marked four years since Keith Pitt won the 2013 federal election succeeding long-standing Member for Hinkler Paul Neville.
Mr Pitt won pre-selection in December 2012 and went on to defeat Labor's Leanne Donaldson.
Mr Pitt was sworn in as Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment on July 19 last year.
The NewsMail asked Mr Pitt to reflect on his past four years in office.
Q: What are your highlights from the past four years?
A: Two that come to mind are a constituent who wanted to be granted Australian citizenship after being diagnosed with terminal cancer for him and his family, and a couple who petitioned the ATO after being required to pay Capital Gains Tax on a house they gifted to their disabled child.
"Seeing the tireless efforts of retired Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, over almost half a century, to seek recognition for his soldiers come to fruition.
"We are indebted to Harry, and the men of Delta Company who fought in the Battle of Long Tan.
"Securing ex-HMAS Tobruk for the region as a military dive wreck, which will bring a long-term economic boost to the region and support the tourism industry in Hinkler for the years to come.”
Q: What has surprised you most about the role as Hinkler MP?
A: I have the opportunity to speak with many individuals, community groups and businesses and I am always impressed at how passionate and devoted they are, whether it's a business exporting a product or volunteers giving up their time.”
Q: What is your most memorable moment in the House of Reps?
A: In June 2015, I spoke against the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015.
"In my speech, I stated that the RET would only achieve three things: it will increase the cost of electricity for those who can least afford it, Australian taxpayers will have spent billions of dollars subsidising private enterprise, and, come 2020, environmentalists will have little more to show for it than a warm and fuzzy feeling.”
Q: What have you found most challenging since becoming Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment?
A: The most challenging aspect of being an assistant minister is getting the right balance between the electorate, the portfolio/parliament and family. The most exciting part is seeing new opportunities for Australian businesses through export and trade that provide jobs in our region, and seeing the work being done to attract tourists into regional Australia, just like the Hinkler electorate.”