Incoming LNP Senator says Qld jobs his top priority
INCOMING Liberal National Party Senator Matt Canavan says he will ensure regional Queensland has a voice over the next six years at a federal level.
Mr Canavan, who will be sworn in Monday, said it was an exciting challenge to be in a position tasked with shaping the nation's future.
"It will be a bit surreal to finally get started."
Mr Canavan, who will base himself in Rockhampton, said he was under no illusions as to the mammoth task which lay ahead.
He said he would always be a champion for regional Australia.
"If the Senate is to play a role in shaping our nation then it needs to put regional Australia first," he said.
"The number one issue at the moment is jobs, particularly in central Queensland.
"It is one area of the economy that we really need to get going.
"We need to look at things that will allow businesses and industries to grow and become more productive."
Mr Canavan, who cut his political teeth working for then Senator Barnaby Joyce, said he was looking forward to working with the crossbench Senators who will also take up their new positions on Monday.
"The political discussion at the moment is broken," he said.
"People have voted for change and we need to all work together for the betterment of the nation.
"I have found the crossbenchers fair-minded and decent people.
"We might not always agree on some things, but ultimately we are all there for pretty much the same reasons."
Mr Canavan said once the excitement died down after the new Senate sits for the first time this week he would hit the ground running.
"For the first six months I will listen and try and visit as many areas of regional Queensland as I can," he said.
"My job is ultimately to listen to Queenslanders.
"I might not always be successful in getting what they want, but I will fight for it none-the-less."
Other Senators who take up their new positions today include Joe Bullock, Bob Day, Chris Ketter, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus, David Leyonhjelm, James McGrath, Ricky Muir, Linda Reynolds, Janet Rice and Zhenya Wang.
It is expected one of the first orders of business will be to decide whether to repeal Labor's controversial Carbon Tax.