A NEW Northern Victoria MP was sworn in earlier this month.
Mark Gepp has been appointed to fill the casual vacancy created by the resignation of embattled former minister Steve Herbert in April.
In his inaugural speech on Wednesday last week Mr Gepp reflected on his early life and work experiences in the union movement that have brought him to this new role.
‘‘Northern Victoria is an area of this great state that continues to be an integral part of my family’s life,’’ he said.
‘‘The electorate is much larger and much more diverse than just the goldfields area, spanning over 100,000 square kilometres.
‘‘Largely rural, it showcases some of the best produce and agriculture that Victoria offers — winegrowing, near and dear to my colleague Jac Symes’ heart — and features the Murray River and alpine areas, its lakes and ski resorts, all supporting a vibrant tourism industry.’’
Mr Gepp finished his speech with a commitment to work to address inequality.
‘‘I believe governments are at their best when they address the inequality that prevents individuals from being their best and reaching their full potential,’’ he said.
‘‘Working to address inequality is the ultimate Sisyphean task, and it is why I have worked all my life to give voice to workers and now to the people of Northern Victoria.
‘‘I want you to know, people of Northern Victoria and my colleagues in the Labor Party, that every day when I get out of bed I will be focused on addressing inequality and removing the barriers that stand in the way of the opportunity for us all to be our best.’’