Littleproud reflects on 2017 across the Maranoa
NOW that the curtain has drawn on 2017, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud took the opportunity to reflect on the year that was throughout our region.
Whether it was the community ice forums, primary health, same-sex marriage, tele- communications or the seemingly endless citizenship saga - nothing was ever off the table for the first-term backbencher.
Elected to the seat of Maranoa in July 2016, his promotion in December 2017 to Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources took many by surprise, including a few in his own party.
"I was very surprised with the promotion but absolutely thrilled,” he said in December.
"I've always had a passion for agriculture, and the community right across Maranoa is intrinsically linked to it.”
Mr Littleproud also made national headlines at the beginning of December, cutting a lonely figure when he was joined by just three other members of parliament in the House of Representatives who voted against the same-sex marriage bill.
The affirmative won overwhelmingly however Mr Littleproud said he was proud of his stand in making sure the voice of his electorate and constituents was heard.
"Democracy's a wonderful thing and we have to respect it,” he said.
Community ice forums in Roma, St George, Chinchilla and Dalby secured funding for a better, local and targeted support for these communities in the fight against addiction.
As a result of these forums, a new clinical worker has been secured for Roma and St George.
"We've secured some good results but we need more support from rural communities and I will continue to work with the PHN - the Federal Government healthcare funding facilitator - to ensure services continue to improve,” he said.
NBN was also switched on in Roma and Mitchell as well as the Jackson mobile phone tower.
Throughout 2017 Mr Littleproud also continued his advocacy for telecommunications, discussing and promoting the unique challenges his constituents face in the bush.
Mr Littleproud said there were a number of issues he wanted to push in 2018.
"The job is never done,” he said.
"More infrastructure on our roads is imperative, as is mental health.
"I need to keep making sure our voice is heard and keep asking for our fair share.”