New Liberal MP vows to fight for 'ignored' middle class

Governments are letting down middle Australians and putting the next generation at risk of being worse off than their predecessors, the newest federal MP warns.

In his first speech to parliament on Tuesday, Liberal MP Simon Kennedy vowed to stand up for the middle class, saying their needs and concerns were being ignored.

Mr Kennedy, who replaced former prime minister Scott Morrison in the southern Sydney electorate of Cook, said middle Australia and small businesses remained the heart of the economy.

"Right now, our country is governed for the squeaky wheel, the vested interests, the large corporates with their lobbyists and their megaphones, it's not for the silent majority and definitely not for the small businesses," he said.

"The people of Cook don't complain, instead, they get on with things ... it's a microcosm of middle Australia, but rightly, they feel they are being ignored."

Liberal member for Cook Simon Kennedy
Liberal member for Cook Simon Kennedy hit out at high levels of migration. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

A former consultant with McKinsey, Mr Kennedy ran unsuccessfully for the Liberals at the 2022 election in the marginal seat of Bennelong.

He was pre-selected for Cook earlier in 2024 following Mr Morrison's retirement from federal politics, despite controversy over him not living in the electorate.

Mr Kennedy said the lack of housing affordability and skyrocketing mortgages were key concerns.

"The promise of the next generation being better off than their parents is disappearing rapidly and it is hard to tell what this could do to Australia's social fabric if allowed to continue," he said.

"What used to make our country great is the government got out of the way and allowed middle Australia to build and grow."

He said federal infrastructure funding should be tied to housing completion rates to boost supply, while industries should be further deregulated for small businesses to grow.

Mr Kennedy also hit out at large levels of migration, which he said was impacting the economy.

"Record migration is being used to paper over the weakness of the Australian economy," he said.

"The 528,000 new entrants in the country only had 170,000 new homes to choose from. The maths just doesn't work.

"The government and corporate Australia tell us the economy is growing but you and your family are just getting poorer."