Liberal Candidate for Durack
SINCE winning Durack at the 2013 election, Melissa Price has joined parliamentary committees to represent the electorate during consideration of important agriculture, Indigenous affairs, infrastructure and northern development issues.
Ms Price was born and bred in regional WA and understands the strength and diversity that comes from living in a remote, rural or regional town.
She said Australia had experienced an unprecedented 24 years of uninterrupted growth.
"Rapid developments in technology and science were disrupting traditional jobs and industries around the world," she said.
"They are changing the way we live, the way we work and the way we do business."
Mr Price said the Coalition government's National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) was a comprehensive plan to ensure Australia grasps the opportunities created by technological disruption in the global economy.
"NISA will ensure we unlock future industries and jobs, as well as invest in existing businesses and enterprises to create opportunities for the future," she said.
"Our policies, such as NISA, will create more jobs and opportunities for people in remote, rural and regional Australia and make our towns better places to live."
Ms Price said the Parliament's agricultural standing committee had just finished an inquiry into agricultural innovation.
"There are some good recommendations, which I expect the government will implement, which will benefit Durack farmers," she said.
"I've been fighting for equity of education for our children and their grandchildren in the electorate.
"The cost of acquiring a good education for regional students is top of mind for me.
"I've been working with the Social Services Minister to identify other ways to financially support regional families, and we're very close to finalising better solutions."
Ms Price said the Coalition had committed to improve regional telecommunications.
"A fortnight ago the Coalition committed a further $60 million to improve mobile reception," she said.
"This is on top of the Round one of the Mobile Black Spot Program which delivered 45 new or upgraded base stations, which will improve 123 locations throughout Durack."
Ms Price said round two of the program will be announced in the coming months.
"As this is such an important issue in my electorate, I ran a successful campaign last year asking constituents to nominate their mobile black spot," she said.
"I expect this will shape the announcements for the future rounds.
"The Turnbull government is rolling out better broadband across Australia in the fastest, most affordable way.
"Under the Coalition all Australians will be connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) by 2020."
Ms Price said by the end of June, 2.6m premises would be able to connect to the NBN.
"Under the Coalition, the NBN has hit every rollout target," she said.
"Under Labor, NBN missed every rollout target." If elected Ms Price said would focus on key areas including health, education and communications.
"Since the Turnbull government came to office we have increased funding to WA health and education tenfold, and we want to continue that," she said.
"I am particularly concerned that young people in the electorate get the education that they need to compete for the jobs of the future.
"I am particularly proud of the PaTH initiative recently announced, which connects prospective young employees and employers to ensure the young job seeker gets a first foot on the employment ladder."
Ms Price said she wants to continue assisting agribusiness and local farmers in cutting red-tape.
"In 2013, we were elected on a platform to cut red tape to agribusiness and we want to continue to build on the work we have delivered," she said.
"In 2014, we cut $24.5m worth of red tape out of the industry.
"The Productivity Commission has launched an investigation into agricultural red tape and it is due to hand its report down in the coming months."
As a supporter of the live export trade, Ms Price said only the Liberal Party could deliver improved economic outcomes for the agricultural industry.
"Since coming to office less than three years ago, the Turnbull government signed landmark free trade agreements with three of our largest export markets - China, Japan and South Korea," she said.
"These deals will create jobs and grow our economy.
"Independent economic modelling has found that together these three free trade agreements will create many thousands of new jobs, make households more than $4,000 better off and boost GDP by almost $25 billion."
Durack spans more than 1.6m square km and covers five diverse regions: Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Mid West and about half the Wheatbelt. As Durack covers a large portion of the State, Ms Price said she would continue to fight for regional road improvements across the electorate.
"The Turnbull government has spent significant amount of money on key roads throughout Durack," she said.
"In April, I announced the government was fixing eight black spots in Durack.
"Seven of these are in the agricultural region.
"I will continue to fight for improved roads in Durack."
Previously Ms Price worked for Australian law firm Clayton Utz.
She also has more than 20 years' experience in the private sector, working in the mining and grain industry in a variety of commercial and legal roles, including iron ore company Crosslands Resources, which is owned by Mitsubishi Corporation.
She has also worked with a more regional focus, in a legal and then business development role at CBH Group.