Hendy's regional focus

AS a veteran former political staffer and former head of employer lobby group the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peter Hendy is no stranger to the inner workings of Parliament House.

So while newly elected MPs are taking their first tentative steps through the federal parliamentary process, Mr Hendy said he's feeling comfortable in his early days as the new Member for Eden-Monaro.

"The big thing for me given that I have quite a lot of familiarity with the workings of parliament ... is that, for the first time I'm actually getting up in the chamber and speaking, and that's something special.

"And of course I'm representing people, and that's a big obligation too," he said.

Mr Hendy made his maiden speech to the Parliament last Tuesday, and spoke in favour of the bill detailing the abolition of the Carbon Tax on Thursday.

"It's one of the things that I said during the election campaign, that I'd speak on this bill and it's abolition before Christmas, and I was able to do that."

And he said his former political experience was proving a useful advantage, after Prime Minister Abbott appointed him to the Coalition policy committee on Trade and Investment this week, alongside chairman Ewen Jones.

"I think it's a genuine advantage, and to put it a different way, I think it's a plus for the people of Eden-Monaro as well, because while I am a new MP, I'm nonetheless somebody who really understands the workings of the parliamentary process, but also the internal processes of Government."

And Mr Hendy said in his maiden speech last week that he wanted to use his time in Parliament to boost recognition for regional and rural areas.

"It's about making a valid case to city-centric politicians that there is a natural disadvantage in living in regional areas, because of distances and so on. That has to be recognised, because the fact is a lot of the productive capacity of Australia resides in regional and rural areas.

"The mere fact that 30 per cent of the population live outside major cities can't be ignored."

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