After 16 years as a police prosecutor, Member for Orange State Electorate Phil Donato MP, entered politics after seeing first-hand that change was needed. After some encouragement he decided to put his hand up and hasn’t looked back since. “I saw the need for a person who would truly represent the needs of the community, as opposed to the typical “career politicians” we’ve become familiar with,” he said. “My main objective was, and still is, to keep the Government honest, hold them to account and pay attention to the needs of regional and rural Australians”.
When Nationals member Andrew Gee resigned to pursue federal politics in 2016, Mr Donato was elected saying he was humbled and honoured to be given the responsibility. “So far I’ve delivered great results for our region by listening to the needs of our community and standing up for those needs, rather than simply toeing the party line,” he said. Great results include delivering over $600,000 for Orange Crisis Centre, over $900,000 for the Housing Plus Crisis Centre, and $140,000 for life-saving equipment for the Lions Club, just to name a few. This was coupled with pressuring the Government to assist farmers by delivering $190 million in freight subsidies.
Mr Donato said it was an honour to represent the Central Western community. “Every day I continue to meet more local people who are equally passionate about this area and want to see it prosper,” he said. “Moving forward there will be a focus on local mental health services and improved rail and road infrastructure to improve connectivity, along with many other issues that require ongoing attention”.