Hon. Rikkie-Lee Tyrell MLC

Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell is One Nation’s first ever representative in the Parliament of Victoria, elected in 2022 to the Legislative Council representing the Northern Victoria region.

A working mum with two school-aged children, Rikkie-Lee used to own a dairy farm in the Murray-Gouldburn region with her husband Aaron, a fifth-generation dairy producer.

Unfortunately like many farmers in the region, Rikkie-Lee and Aaron were hit with unsustainably high water and feed costs during the drought and they were forced to sell up. Since then they’ve been managing someone else’s dairy farm, and Rikkie-Lee has been working to bring the impacts of Murray-Darling Basin water reform under scrutiny.

“Victoria’s irrigators have borne the full brunt of water reform, giving up hundreds of gigalitres to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and cutting or limiting the water available to whole districts. Many farmers have been forced to quit, unable to afford huge water costs, and this is costing regional economies while also jeopardising our state’s food security.

“Decoupling water from the land as part of the reforms was meant to improve flexibility and water security, but water trading has produced the opposite effect. Buyers, including foreign buyers, with no use for the water are locking it up to drive prices higher. Foreign investors shouldn’t be allowed to trade water if they have no practical use for it.”

Energy security, reliability and affordability for Victorian homes and industry is also on Rikkie-Lee’s agenda.

“The people of Victoria own vast reserves of natural gas, and in a sensible world they would benefit from these resources in terms of affordable and reliable energy. The reality is that our gas reserves are locked away because of reckless climate ideology, or for exports that return very little to the people who own them. This has to change before too many people are forced to choose between their energy bills and other essentials. We need to improve energy security through measures like more fuel storage at Geelong and another interconnector across the Bass Strait.”

Rikkie-Lee is based at Invergordon, just north of Shepparton. Her family loves regional Victoria and chose to make it her home after living in country New South Wales, where she worked in the tourism and hospitality sectors as well as a property manager in real estate. She was also a volunteer in the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service.

“Regional areas have been neglected by city-centric governments in Melbourne. Country communities need powerful voices. I will always fight for the best outcomes for regional Victoria – better roads, infrastructure which improves safety and economic productivity, and more water storage.

“Government transparency and accountability has also suffered setbacks in Victoria over the years, with public trust in public institutions at an all-time low. Recommendations to improve IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman need to be implemented soon to arrest the overreach of Dan Andrews, who heads the most unaccountable government in Victorian history. He needs to be held accountable for his authoritarian overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the world’s harshest lockdowns imposed in Victoria – including regional areas where they simply could not be justified.

I will always fight for individual rights and freedoms attacked by the Victorian government. I will always put Victoria and Victorians first.”