Bert van Manen MPIt was an honour to have been elected as the Federal Member for Forde on Saturday 21 August 2010.

Having grown up here, I have a good understanding of the issues facing our electorate.  Born to Dutch migrant parents, I grew up in Waterford and Bethania with three brothers and a sister.

I attended local state schools and graduated from Kingston State High School. My first job was working at the local Caltex service station.

Prior to entering politics, I worked for one of the major banks for 15 years.  Eventually I left and my wife Judi and I started our own business in the Financial Services sector.  Owning and operating my own small business gave me first hand experience of the challenges businesses face, as small and medium business is the cornerstone of our economy.

I believe that strong families are the basic building blocks of our society, I am committed to fighting for and developing policies that will assist individuals, families, businesses and community organisations.

I have enjoyed attending and volunteering at local events such as PCYC Open Days, Neighbourhood Meetings, Seniors’ Events, School Awards Ceremonies, Community Group Events and School Fetes.  I have spoken in Parliament on matters that affect our electorate such as the impact our economy is having on small business, reducing red tape in the business sector, youth unemployment, upgrading the M1, the state of the Albert and Logan Rivers as well as many other pressing issues.  I look forward to continuing my support and involvement in the local community, along with meeting residents and business people during my third term.

I am proud to say a lot has been achieved for the region, including delivering more than $84 million funding for vital infrastructure upgrades and community projects. Most recently I secured $215 million for stage 1 of the M1 – Pacific Motorway upgrade at the M1-Gateway Motorway merge (southbound).

While much has been achieved, there is still plenty more to be done locally. Nationally, I will continue to fight for families and businesses in Forde by backing legislation that reduces the tax burden and builds a strong economy that will create more jobs for all Australians.

Together, we can create a place where people can live, work and retire locally while having fun in our community.

Help me create a safe, family focused community, where children learn, play and grow in a secure environment.