Crowded House all ears for Cathy

IT was a magic moment for Cathy McGowan’s orange army when she made her maiden speech in Canberra yesterday.

No matter that the House of Representatives was half-empty of MPs — crowded across the public gallery seats were 250 supporters and family thrilled the new member for Indi was at last speaking in the Parliament.

In an ebullient mood, they had travelled by bus from the North East to see Indi’s first independent MP in 112 years finally speak as a tribune of the people — the Voice of Indi, no less.

Among those watching and listening was her Farrer neighbour, Sussan Ley, now Assistant Education Minister.

Ms McGowan pledged to listen, engage and represent her constituents in a speech that paid tribute to her family, her community and “the makers of all things orange”.

Reports, another MATTHEW SMITHWICK picture, page 5.

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