As promised here some more excerpts from the very good first speech by new Fremantle MP Josh Wilson in Parliament House, Canberra on Monday. The entire speech is too long to fully publish it on Freo’s View, but you can hear it on Josh’s Facebook page.
I have the honour of being sent here to represent the mighty federal electorate of Fremantle, the place where the Swan River, or Derbarl Yerrigan, meets the Indian Ocean, in the land of the Whadjuk Noongar, the place known for thousands of years as Walyalup.
I am proud to say that I have been shaped by Fremantle, by its landscape and its culture; by its function as a place of industry and trade and the arts; a port city; a place of arrival, whose multicultural diversity and cohesion has been hard won and is precious; a place that looks out into the world and welcomes people, whether they come for a short or a long time, with open arms; a place defined by the heat and by the sea.
Representing Fremantle is a great responsibility. There is no role or task that I can imagine being more meaningful to me in this life, and I am going to pour myself into this work—at home, in my electorate, and here in this place. I relish the fact that this work spans the full range: from helping a person who has come to you when every other door is closed to working in this place to shape national laws and policy, and I think one should inform the other. If you are from WA, it is work that literally spans the continent, and I look forward to all of it. I hope I can undertake the task with energy, humility, dedication and good humour. My constituents in Freo and my children will let me know if I do not.
………..When Carmen Lawrence gave her first speech in this place in 1994 she remarked on the centenary of universal suffrage. My daughters are here today and I am glad they are able to see a parliament, especially on this side, that is replete with women who are ready to make a contribution and take their place here on merit, because women have been ready to make their contribution on that basis for a long time, and that process is not finished. Let’s remember there are 72 seats in this place that have not yet been represented by a woman.
……Good government, responsive and reforming government, is not just important, it is necessary, but there is more to be done. There is a danger, I think, when you come to participate in the work of parliament, not that you will be deluded into thinking that we happen to exist at an especially crucial moment in history but that we might be deluded instead into thinking that all the big changes have been won; that what is left is only marginal, asymptotic progress along the curve. On any reasonable assessment, that is not the case. There is in fact a great deal more to do.
The Fremantle electorate is bound up in a number of those challenges: in the need for action on climate change and renewable energy; in the need to hasten the too-slow progress to close the gap between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians; in relation to the future of work in this country, its forms, quantity and conditions; in regional leadership and our engagement with the wider world; and in the need for smart and forward-looking urban design and planning, and the delivery of matching transport and communication infrastructure.
Granted, city planning sounds boring and technocratic, but unless we get it right we will consign families in outer metro areas to lives limited by unaffordable housing, dislocated from jobs and services and characterised by congestion in suburbs where people struggle to feel connected to their neighbours because there is no reason to walk or ride through the streets, no local shops or community centres and poor public transport. The local governments in my electorate—Cockburn, Fremantle, East Fremantle and Melville—are seized by this challenge but they are frustrated at not being met halfway by state and federal governments. There is no better example right now of that frustration than the Perth Freight Link. My community is fighting to be on the right side of a decision that divides between two very different futures.
……..One of the most distinctive things about Fremantle is its loud and proud arts and culture workforce—the ordinary, everyday presence and production of musicians, architects, artists, writers, dancers, street performers and even circus performers. Arts practitioners and businesses are the very definition of the creative economy, and you would be hard-pressed to find leaner and meaner enterprises or people and organisations that do more with less, so it is incredibly disappointing that in my electorate of Fremantle arts funding and support bodies have been subject to so much chaos in the last couple of years.
…….To bring my slightly damp first speech in this incredible place to an end—that will not make sense to people reading this in the future!—I am happy to say that I am a romantic when it comes to representative democracy. I think it is one of the best things. I do not agree with Winston Churchill; I think it is one of the best things. It deserves to be valued. It deserves to be performed with maximum effort, and cultivated with great care, with its essence and structure respected and its live parts allowed to flourish and be renewed. As a new member in this place I intend to listen and learn, to not hold back for fear of making the odd mistake or the odd joke, to participate and work hard in good spirit and good faith, to make a difference and always to apply myself in dedicated service to the people of Fremantle.
New Fremantle MP Josh Wilson held his first speech in Parliament House in Canberra yesterday and posted this photo and quote.
I have asked for a full transcript of the very good 25-minute speech, so I can write a bit more about it, so this is only the stop press version.
Nice to see Josh’s wife, his two daughters and his son in the public gallery, as well as Melissa Park and former Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri.
I am sure Josh Wilson will do Fremantle proud!
For me personally the announcement by the FederalMember for Fremantle Melissa Parke MP that she will resign before the next election is disappointing. I like Melissa as a person and as a politician whose integrity could never been questioned. Her powerful defence of human rights has been very impressive.
So who will the Labor party decide on to replace Melissa? No doubt there will be the usual rather silly infighting between the right and left factions of the party and the outcome is sometimes that not the best person for the job is elected.
Fremantle Deputy Mayor Josh Wilson, who is Melissa Parke’s right hand at the Freo office, would make an excellent candidate in my opinion and I would support him, but will he have party support? He was pushed aside for the state position when the powerful unions wanted Simone McGurk to stand for parliament instead of Josh.
While the Canberra MP position no doubt would be great financially for the Wilson family it would be very hard to juggle a young family in Freo with the task of travelling to Canberra constantly and be away from home often.
A large fire broke out at the property of Liberal party politician Matthew Hanssen this morning on the corner of Central Avenue and South Street in Beaconsfield. The building contains Mr Hanssen’s home, the Hanssen computer business and the Zedz fish&chips shop.
Matthew told me he had no idea how the blaze started but that the property is insured.
It is not a very good start of the year for Matthew Hanssen who stood for federal parliament against Melissa Parke and for state parliament against Simone McGurk. He also contested the Mayor of Fremantle election two years ago.
I feel very sorry for Matthew and the business operators as this is one of the worst starts of the year imaginable.
Photos COPYRIGHT Roel Loopers/ROEL.COM.AU
Nice to hear that our delightful Fremantle federal MP Melissa Parke shops locally. She has commissioned Freo designer Deborah McKendrick of VELVET SUSHI to design her wedding dress and that of her mother and also for the bridesmaids.
Melissa will get married to Perth business man and arts patron Warwick Hemsley in 2016.
There is something seriously indecent about politicians generously wasting taxpayers’ money on travel, accommodation claims and many other things that are presumably within the rules, because it sets standards that are well below those the community expects of our leaders.
Our governments should be full of role models we should look up to, with people who show what Australia’s values are, but far too often they rort the system for their own egos.
When the independent speaker of Federal Parliament spends $ 300,000 on travel expenses in her first year in that role then there is something very wrong with the parliamentary system we have created for our society.
Politicians of all parties abuse the system when in government and spend far too much money on so called fact finding missions, that their staff could research on the internet at no costs.
If a member of parliament or their spouse own a second home in the city of parliament they should not be able to claim accommodation expenses and get reimbursed for not living at their residency while parliament sits. It is a rort and nothing else!
For reasons I have never understood society expects sports people to be role models, but why should they be? Why should someone who can kick a football or hit a cricket ball be of exceptional moral values, when the moral standards of many of our elected members are so low? Why don’t we demand from our politicians to show restraint and decency when spending our money and why don’t we tell them that their greed and arrogance in the way they spend our money is not acceptable and in fact indecent.
When footy players take drugs there is public outrage, but when politicians misuse our money for their own inflated ego we say little. That makes me wonder what the Australian values are and what is means when people say that something is un-Australian. Wasting taxpayers’ money should be on the top of the list of un-Australian behaviour.
The word arrogant is one of the most (over)used words when the public is asked for an opinion about politicians, be that local, state, or federal.
John Howard and Kevin Rudd were considered to be arrogant, as was WA formerPremier Alan Carpenter and present Premier Colin Barnett.
In Fremantle the entire Council gets accused of being arrogant because residents believe Elected Members no longer listen to them and run their own agendas.
I have met many local, state and federal members and have yet to meet one whom I would classify as arrogant. Aloof, self-righteous, blinkered, one-eyed, out of touch, yes, but arrogant they are not.
Lessons need to be learned though from what happened in Queensland on Saturday and Tony Abbott’s lack of consultation with backbenchers and the community. When voters believe elected members have stopped listening to them they get very irate and abandon even the parties they prefer.
P.S. Interesting to read State Government is investing some $ 40 million on a new Mandurah Bridge when all the Fremantle railway bridge is getting is a few venders to stop ships from bumping into it. Not happy, Colin!
Fremantle federal MP Melissa Parke is holding an Open Air Office this Wednesday Novermber 19 from 4.15-5.15 pm at Valley Park, Nannine Street, White Gum Valley.
Melissa represents 130,000 residents so anyone who would like to talk to her or just say G’Day is welcome to come to the lovely Valley Park. There is a big playground for the kids, so no need to find a babysitter if you’d like to meet Melissa.
Future Open Air Offices around her electorate will be held.