In her maiden speech to federal parliament, the Liberal member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks remembered her Irish forebears: One one side, she says was her great-great grandfathe,r a political rebel who sought justice for Irish labouring families and fell foul of the law; and on the other, her great-grandmother, Ellen-Mary a missionary sent from Ireland to establish Catholic schooling in Australia.
Ms Wicks claims some of the stubbornness of her forebears can be seen in her desire to get a fairer deal for the constituents of her electorate. She joined the Liberal party in her mid-twenties wanting to make a difference in the community and in her role as a teacher. She is a local, having grown up in Point Clare in the mid-to-late eighties.
Memories of hard times inform her Liberal leanings today. She blames federal Labor's policies for the difficulties endured by her parents.
The eldest of five children in a mostly single-income family she recalls interest rates in the high teens, delivering pamphlets with her father before school and at weekends to pay bills and the sale of her mother's prized piano.
One of the issues for her constituents is unemployment and the resulting large number of people who must commute to work. Part of the plan for the Central Coast is to improve mobile communications and Wi-Fi at train stations for those who travel by train to jobs in Sydney each day. Ms Wicks says she knows this from personal experience.
“My husband, Chris, who in the 17 years we have been married has never been able to work locally, and whose round trip commute takes over four hours a day, does not have to be the future experience of my four-year-old son, Oscar, or three-year-old daughter, Mollie-Joy.”
Supporting the family unit to weather the hard times features strongly in Lucy Wicks’ vision for the Central Coast. Of the 36000 families living in Robertson, 20 per cent are single-parent households. Three years ago on her election Lucy Wicks made it clear that family was the cornerstone of society.
“By supporting our families, in whatever form they may take, as the most fundamental institution for the development of the individual, we are taking care of our nation's future.”
The Liberal Party promises for the electorate include a world-class medical school precinct for Gosford with 750 new jobs to drive healthcare innovation; a major upgrade to the Somersby Industrial estate to attract new business and the $10-million towards the Regional Arts Performing Centre in Gosford. Lucy Wicks claims that she has fought for and secured 600 new federal jobs for Gosford.
Ms Wicks says her upbringing taught her about the value of hard work, good budgeting but also "the positive impact of a strong economy, lower taxes and easing the burden of the cost of living".