Drum appointed Nationals whip
Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum has been elected as the new National Party whip to replace George Christensen.
Mr Christensen, who represents the North Queensland electorate of Dawson, made the decision to step down from the position last week.
Mr Drum said it was an honour to be chosen as the chief Nationals whip, a position he would not take lightly.
‘‘I would like to thank George Christensen for the excellent work he has done as chief Nationals whip,’’ Mr Drum said.
‘‘I am thrilled and honoured my colleagues have put their trust in me and put me forward for this role.’’
The chief whip is responsible for ensuring party members attend and vote in parliament.
‘‘Taking on this role gives me the opportunity to work even closer with the party leadership,’’ Mr Drum said.
‘‘I’m committed to helping build a team that continues to deliver for our respective regional and rural electorates.
‘‘The National Party is the only party that ensures regional areas have a voice on the national stage.’’
Boost for first home owners
The First Home Owner Grant is set to be doubled in country Victoria, helping people in northern Victoria buy their first home.
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the grant increase from $10000 to $20000 would be available to first home buyers building new homes valued up to $750000.
It starts on July 1 and is an additional $50million investment in country Victoria over the next three years.
Ms Symes said the changes from the Victorian Government would make it easier for young people in northern Victoria to build their first home, as well as boosting local construction jobs and development.
The grant will be applicable to contracts signed from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020 at which time the government will review the benefits for first home buyers and businesses in regional Victoria.
‘‘This is a win for first home buyers in northern Victoria and will help boost local jobs in our country towns,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘By doubling this grant, were giving young people in northern Victoria even more reason to live locally.’’