Fixing 'systemic issues' is what politics is about: MP
Solving entrenched issues hurting society's most vulnerable and combating the cost of living crisis should be front and centre for the NSW parliament, according to fresh-faced NSW MPs making their first parliamentary speeches.
"Working in some of the most disenfranchised communities has given me the credentials to be an effective member of parliament," Labor's MP for Parramatta Donna Davis said on Thursday.
The former mayor of Parramatta, who took the seat from the Liberal Party during the March state election, previously worked as a staffer for former Labor MPs Barbara Perry and Tanya Gadiel.
"Engaging with people with a lived experience … or a sometimes infuriatingly indifferent bureaucracy is always an opportunity to grapple with the bigger picture. With how the system needs to be fixed," she said.
"Working on systemic issues should be at the heart of politics."
Reflecting on her time working with former Parramatta MP Ms Gadiel, Ms Davis said helping people in small ways often had the largest impact.
"The little changes you make in people's lives give a deep sense of satisfaction," she said.
"People want someone who can help them when they have nowhere else to go."
A new class of "working poor" are emerging in northwest Sydney, as people struggle to pay their bills despite being employed, according to Labor's new MP for Riverstone Warren Kirby.
"The spiralling cost of living has created the working poor," Mr Kirby said during his first speech to the parliament.
"Mortgage stress and rental prices have left families, some with dual incomes, unable to buy food or pay for electricity.
"I was drawn into politics because of the frustration I felt from shouting at the outside of this building, and realising that if I really wanted to make a difference, I needed to get a seat on the inside," he said.
Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Mr Kirby told the assembly: "Now I am here, I must do the best I can and bear the responsibility of taking the course which I feel I ought to take."