New MP gives maiden speech
The Pilbara’s new Member of Parliament Kevin Michel gave his maiden speech at the 40th WA Parliament this month.
As one of the newest members of Parliament, he discussed his experiences leading up to his election win, after being prompted for nomination by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
“I was made aware by the Labor Party that, in its view, I did not have a chance of winning,” he said.
“But I am a fighter and I wanted to prove people wrong.
“I believe in the people’s movement and we had a great people’s movement going on in the Pilbara.”
Mr Michel said his biggest goal now was for the Pilbara to stop relying on the mining, oil and gas sectors.
“I feel that, by and large, we have enough economic infrastructure but we lack good health services and we have to pay inflated airfares to Perth,” he said. “We need to ... expand industry into agriculture, tourism, aquaculture and renewable energy.
“We need to make the North West regional area a place where we can encourage people to come and live.”
“I see wasted opportunity in regional areas such as the North West as we cannot get Australian professionals such as doctors, surgeons, radiologists and other skilled professionals to come here.”
Mr Michel, who had a humble upbringing in central India before migrating to Australia at age 29, said he fell in love with Western Australia’s “rugged beauty”.
He also made a promise to his region.
“I promise I will strive to achieve the best for my region and the great State of Western Australia,” he pledged.
“I also thank God and infant Jesus for giving me this opportunity to serve the Pilbara people. Thank you.”
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