I hear from a lot of people who are worried about the way governments are running the country.

As a local MP, it’s my job to listen and represent these views in the Federal Parliament. But we all have the chance to have our say on election day.

At this election, you have the opportunity to choose a better future for you, your family and our community. The COVID recovery is too important to get wrong.

We can’t afford three more years of a tired eight year old Liberal Government, led by Mr Morrison - who is more interested in blame shifting than a plan for the future. Every time Mr Morrison is called out on his failures, his response is the same - “it’s not my job”, “it’s a matter for the states”, “I don’t hold a hose”.

Parramatta deserves better. We need to get started on a plan to build back stronger and deliver a recovery that works for everyone, including:

  • Protecting Medicare and providing quality and accessible health care;
  • Rebuilding Australian manufacturing to ensure that the future is made in Australia;
  • Creating good, secure jobs by building new industries and supporting apprentices;
  • Investing in education and affordable childcare to give every child the best start in life;
  • Better local infrastructure to reduce congestion

Every citizen over the age of 18 has the power to vote governments in or out. And most Australians who can vote, do. But a significant number of people are missing out.

Around 1 in 6 Australians who could have voted at the last election either didn’t enrol to vote, didn’t cast their vote, or didn’t fill out their ballot paper correctly, meaning their vote wasn’t counted.

This really matters. We only get the chance to vote governments in or out every few years. The decisions they make affect our lives and livelihoods and the future for our children and grandchildren – a fact made all the more obvious by the pandemic.

So we need to make our votes count. There’s a few simple things you can do to make sure your voice is heard:

Enrol to vote. It only takes a couple of minutes to enrol online. If you’d prefer to fill out a paper form call my office and we’ll send one out to you. If you’re 16 or 17 you can put your name on the roll so you can vote as soon as you turn 18.

Update your address if you’ve moved house. This means you’ll be voting for the person who represents your local area instead of where you used to live. It only takes a couple of minutes to do this online, or you can call my office for a paper form.

Make sure you fill out your ballot papers correctly. The rules are slightly different for federal and state elections. You can find information on how to fill out ballot papers online. You can also ask election staff for information at any polling place.

Don’t forget to vote! If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to a polling place on election day, you can apply to vote by post or visit an early voting centre. You can also cast your vote if you’re overseas.

It only takes a couple of minutes to make sure your vote is counted and that the voices in our community are heard. Scan the QR code for all the links you need to find this information on the Australian Electoral Commission website or visit julieowens.com.au/vote.