As one of the people displaying Rob Oakeshott posters alongside Port Macquarie's main roads over the last few mornings, I would like to set the record straight on who exactly we are. None of us are ring-ins - we all live here and care deeply about what happens to our region which is why we are doing what we do.
I and my family moved to Port years ago - in fact three generations of our family live here now. My children attended local public schools and are now most of the way through their education at Hastings Secondary College. We all work here in Port Macquarie and I am also studying at CSU here in Port (thanks to Rob Oakeshott, who brought the universities here in the first place). One of my children is aiming to go to medical school, and thanks to Rob she has the opportunity to do so without leaving home.
When one of us has been sufficiently seriously ill or injured, we've gone to Port Base Hospital, and we have Rob Oakeshott to thank that it's a proper public hospital and recently upgraded into the bargain. When I commute to my second job in the next town, I'm driving on the upgraded highway that I'm also grateful to Rob for securing for us.
So partly out of gratitude for what he's already done for our region - and partly out of hope that he'll get the chance to do even more this time - we volunteered to help with Rob's campaign because want people to know once again Rob is putting his hand up to do the tough and often thankless job representing our region to Canberra. We don't have the big money and big companies backing us like the major parties, so we have to rely on our own efforts and those of our friends - which is why you've seen us out and about with our T-shirts and posters, doing what we can for our town and the region we love and live in.