Lismore MP Janelle Saffin delivering her maiden speech at NSW Parliament.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin delivering her maiden speech at NSW Parliament. Contributed

Lismore MP's big promise during first speech in parliament

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin made her maiden speech in the NSW Parliament this week and promised to change the culture of the chamber.

Elected as the first Labor MP for Lismore in 54 years, Ms Saffin said she was ready to represent her community the best she can, using her vast experience in government.

"I am here because I am proudly an activist, not a career politician, Ms Saffin said.

"I do not say that disparagingly because we all have different paths to this place. We mostly all want to make a difference."

Ms Saffin, who previously was the federal member for Page, said she was disappointed with her first impressions of the NSW Parliament.

"I was asked whether I was worried about coming into the bearpit, as it is called," she said.

"After experiencing one question time I can say that it was more like cats hissing and spitting at each and there was little substance. Yesterday I contemplated sitting through about 44 question times - I think it will be about that many; I am not sure - but because I will do so for the good of my community, so be it; I shall endure.

"However, as I said, Mr Speaker, I hope that you can change the culture."

Ms Saffin also said she hoped to improve the availability of TAFE courses to her constituents, help small business and the environment and other important healthcare providers.