RADIO INTERVIEW: 2GB Afternoons with Deborah Knight
MONDAY, 24 AUGUST 2020
SUBJECTS: New Member for Eden Monaro sworn in, parliament returns.
Deb Knight, Presenter: Parliament has resumed and of course there are a few new kids on the block as well. New kids in the school, they do say it's a bit like a school yard. They perform actually probably rowdier than a lot of school yards and kids sometimes. But among them is Kristy McBain who won the recent Eden Monaro by-election for the Labor Party. It was a knife edge - the result, a couple of blunders from the coalition saw Kristy McBain win this seat. She will be sworn into federal parliament in well about 35 minutes time. In fact, and she's on the line for us now, Kristy, thanks for joining us.
Kristy McBain, Member for Eden-Monaro: Thanks very much, Deb.
Knight: It must be quite an honour for you today.
McBain: Yeah, look, I am really looking forward to it. It's obviously a momentous occasion, a little bit different though, obviously with the COVID regulations and restrictions
Knight: And different too, because normally if a new member of parliament is being sworn in, you could have members of the family there in the gallery watching, but no public is allowed to visit at the moment. And you, you, as the pollies and staff have got to where masks in all the public areas.
McBain: Yes, we've got masks in all the public areas and the galleries are obviously closed, the building is closed to the public. And, there was, a bit of legwork done to make sure that my husband and the kids could be here today, to watch it all.
Knight: That is good because it's difficult when you've been through so much to not have the family who supported you and stood by you to not actually witness that moment of triumph when you sworn in and you, you, you are very passionate and you are a very passionate local representative for an area that suffered so much during bushfires, COVID, and flooding recently in some parts as well. What are you planning in terms of being a local member representing your area in parliament?
McBain: Yeah, obviously bushfire recovery is a huge issue right across the electorate. I think over a million hectares has been burnt as part of the Black Summer Fires. And on the back of that obviously floods, the pandemic, and more flooding. And we've still got a drought in some parts of the electorate as well. So, getting down to business and making sure I'm amplifying the concerns of my constituents right across Eden Monaro is the key priority for me.
Knight: And any sense of nerves about going into federal parliament for the first time?
McBain: Not nervous, [more] excited but, I guess the overwhelming factor for me is obviously the weight of pressure of the number of people who I know are doing it really tough at the moment. And I want to make sure that the concerns of those people in regional New South Wales are well and truly shared.
Knight: And I'll tell you what, Mike Kelly – he has some big shoes to fill.
McBain: Big shoes literally and figuratively. He was a great local member and obviously had a lot of support. So, I am looking forward to getting out there and continuing his legacy of down to earth politics.
Knight: We wish you all the best and enjoy today, and I'm glad that your family could be with you for the swearing in for you. And thanks again for joining us.
McBain: Thanks Deb.