Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders has given his first speech as a member of parliament today during the second sitting day of the legislative assembly in 2019.
Mr Saunders noted that he was the first of the newly elected state representatives to be invited to speak and remarked on the 'humbling and exciting' circumstances.
"I want to start off by saying what an absolute privilege it is to be here representing the people of the Dubbo Electorate," Mr Saunders said.
READ ALSO: Federal Election, 2019: Meet your candidates
"It's an incredible part of the State, and it's a unique feeling to know that I'll be the voice for people right across the region in this parliament for the next four years."
Mr Saunders remarked that it was an 'honour' to be the 14th representative of the state seat of Dubbo, which covers much of the Central West.
"From the capital of Western NSW - Dubbo itself - to Trangie and Narromine, Wellington and surrounds, and across to Mudgee and Gulgong - this is a diverse and extraordinary slice of regional NSW which I have very firmly at the front of my mind," Mr Saunders said.
He also recognised departing MP Troy Grant, thanking him for his support across a difficult election campaign which saw Saunders fend off both the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and Independent candidate Mathew Dickerson.
"He's been a mentor and a friend and has made a huge difference. He's provided unwavering and honest advice, and true friendship throughout this journey."
"The electorate of Dubbo now is completely different to what it was 8 years ago - yes there has been a boundary change - but the prosperity and the belief in the region has changed completely since Troy was elected as part of a new government back in 2011."
"I'll now be working hard to continue that impact and influence as I take the baton forward."
Mr Saunders also thanked national party branch chair members in Wellington, Dubbo, Trangie, Mudgee and elsewhere who had contributed to his election campaign.
In his speech, Mr Saunders outlined key areas that his team had recognised as priorities after consulting with Dubbo and the surrounding communities, including health, roads and connectivity.
"The good news is that the Dubbo electorate is recognised as a growth region, with lots of potential for the future, we just need to be able to drive that interest and drive the investment to make the most of what's possible," Mr Saunders said.
"We need to see new businesses start-up, but also current businesses scale up."