About 130 people from along the Sapphire Coast gathered for a fundraising dinner at the Merimbula RSL Club on Saturday, September 1 in support of state Labor candidate for Bega, Leanne Atkinson. Guest speaker for the evening was Linda Burney, opposition spokeswoman on human services and preventing family violence and MC was Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly. Collen Dixon gave the&nbsp;Welcome to Country. Dr Kelly said that Ms Atkinson was the main reason everyone was there. He added that the federal government had “lost its way” and was a “rabble&nbsp;focused on self-interest”. “Government has to learn that everything shouldn’t be costed and nothing valued,” Dr Kelly said. “We need to be honest and upfront before the elections. We have seen blood split on the carpets over naked ambition,” Dr Kelly added. In her speech Ms Burney spoke about her upbringing and how it shaped her thinking. “Community is something that is precious. What is so evident here is that sense of community, togetherness and we have to protect that,” Ms Burney said. She said it was important to stay connected to the people you served.&nbsp;Ms Burney also spoke about reconciliation and&nbsp;the need for a treaty. She said that domestic violence was something that reached into all parts of our society adding that there was a need to get more services to the front line. Ms Atkinson, Dr Kelly and Ms Burney then took a number of questions relating to TAFE, single use plastic bags, the NDIS, instituting a federal ICAC and&nbsp;refugees.