Clare O’Neil (ALP – Hotham) – First Speech

Clare O’Neil was first elected as the ALP member for Hotham at the 2013 federal election.

O'Neil

Hotham is an electorate in south-east suburban Melbourne. It stretches from Oakleigh in the north to Dingley Village in the south. The main suburbs include Bentleigh East, Dingley Village, Heatherton, Moorabbin, Springvale South and parts of Clayton, Clayton South, Cheltenham, Keysborough, Murrumbeena, Noble Park, Oakleigh, Oakleigh South and Springvale.

The electorate was previously held by the former ALP leader Simon Crean from 1990-2013.

This is O’Neil’s first speech to the House of Representatives.

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Hansard transcript of Clare O’Neil’s first speech to the House of Representatives.

O'Neil

Ms O’NEIL (Hotham) (16:32): Thirty years ago, a group of Cambodians purchased a large piece of land in Springvale South. They had a vision of a regional temple, where thousands of local Buddhists would gather to worship but, when construction began, it was beset by problems. At this time one of the congregation began to be visited in her dreams by a Bunurong woman. ‘This is not your land,’ she would repeat night after night. The monks conferred and agreed that a shrine would be built to honour the Bunurong, and the congregation began to leave gifts of fruit, avocado and nuts. From there, construction ran smoothly and today Clarke Road temple is one of the largest in Melbourne. Still, worshippers leave gifts at the shrine to the Bunurong to show their respect to the traditional owners of that land. [Read more…]


Melissa Price (Lib-Durack) – First Speech

Melissa Price was first elected as the Liberal member for Durack at the 2013 federal election.

Price

She succeeded Barry Haase who was the first member for Durack following its creation through the splitting of the old electorate of Kalgoorlie.

The electorate extends from Kununurra in the north to Geraldston in the south. The main locations include the City of Geraldton and the towns of Broome, Carnarvon, Dampier, Derby, Exmouth, Kalbarri, Karratha, Newman, Port Hedland, Wiluna and Wyndham. [Read more…]


Tim Watts (ALP-Gellibrand) – First Speech

Tim Watts was first elected as the ALP member for Gellibrand at the 2013 federal election.

Watt

Watts replaced Nicola Roxon in this safe ALP seat that has never been held by the Coalition parties.

Gellibrand is located in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It extends from Maidstone in the north to Williamstown in the south, and from the Maribrynong River in the east to Altona Meadows in the west. Other main suburbs include Albion, Altona, Ardeer, Brooklyn, Footscray, Footscray West, Kingsville, Newport, Seaholme, South Kingsville, Sunshine, Sunshine West, Spotswood, Tottenham, Yarraville and Williamstown. [Read more…]


Rick Wilson (Lib-O’Connor) – First Speech

Rick Wilson was first elected as the Liberal member for O’Connor at the 2013 federal election.

Wilson

Wilson regained the seat for the Liberal Party following the retirement of The Nationals member, Tony Crook, who had in turn succeeded the long-serving Liberal member, Wilson Tuckey.

O’Connor is a large Western Australian electorate that extends from the Gibson Desert in the north to Albany in the south. [Read more…]


Bob Carr Enters The Senate And Becomes Foreign Minister

Bob CarPrime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that former NSW Premier Bob Carr is to enter the Senate and become Foreign Minister.

After several days of uncertainty and denials, the announcement came as a surprise today when Gillard announced the ministerial reshuffle arising from the resignation of Kevin Rudd and his failed leadership challenge.

Carr will fill the casual Senate vacancy created by the resignation of Mark Arbib. [Read more…]


Giving Substance To The Words

There are thirty-two new members of the 43rd Parliament, elected on August 21st. Three of them are returning after a voluntary or enforced absence. As a group they constitute one-fifth of the House of Representatives, a significant turnover and renewal of the lower house. Many of them will be there for years to come.

Maiden SpeechesOver the past month, I have made a point of watching the maiden, or first, speeches of these members. On the whole, it is difficult not to be impressed by these fledgling parliamentarians.

There has been much comment on the moving speech from the Western Australian Liberal, Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House, but others also delivered considered and thoughtful speeches.

Take Andrew Leigh, the member for Fraser in the ACT. His reputation as an economist and thinker preceded his election. In his speech, he spoke of the importance of education for the nation’s future, of “optimistic experimentation” and of rebuilding “a sense of trust between citizens and politicians”. Leigh’s book, “Disconnected”, has just been published. [Read more…]


First Speeches by Members of the 43rd Parliament

The 43rd Parliament met for the first time on Tuesday 28th September 2010.

First speeches by new members began the next day, the first day of normal business.

Audio of each speech will be added to this page as it becomes available. [Read more…]


Rob Oakeshott: First Speech

Rob Oakeshott won the NSW rural electorate of Lyne in a by-election on September 6, 2008.

Oakeshott stood as an independent in the formerly Nationals seat. It had been vacated by the former Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile.

Oakeshott was first elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly as the Nationals member for Port Macquarie in 1996.

He resigned to sit as an independent in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected as an independent.

Hansard transcript of Rob Oakeshott’s first speech to the House of Representatives.

OakeshottMr OAKESHOTT (4:50 PM) —‘Jum-mada-gai’ are three Aboriginal words from my home that mean ‘Come, you’re welcome.’ I start with this standing invitation to all who are listening that you are welcome to my place, called the mid-north coast of New South Wales, and in particular those who have the power to help on the many issues that I will be raising tonight and over the coming years. And I also start with these words as an act of respect—an act of respect now done by all three councils within the Lyne electorate, an act of respect now done by the New South Wales parliament and an act of respect that I am therefore both surprised and disappointed this parliament is yet to adopt as part of its daily practice. [Read more…]


Craig Thomson (ALP-Dobell) – Maiden Speech

This is the text of the first speech to the House of Representatives by Craig Thomson.

Thomson was elected as the ALP member for Dobell at the 2007 election.

Dobell is a provincial electorate on the central coast of New South Wales. It includes the centres of Bateau Bay, Berkeley Vale, Blue Haven, Matcham, Mount Elliot, Ourimbah, The Entrance, Warnervale, Wyoming, Wyong, the Yarramalong Valley, and parts of Erina Heights, Gorokan, Holgate, Lisarow, Kulnura, Narara, Niagara Park and Wamberal.

Hansard transcript of Craig Thomson’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives.

Craig ThomsonMr CRAIG THOMSON (6:12 PM) — Can I say right at the start what a great honour it is to be here today representing the people of Dobell in this place. Not many people get the honour and privilege of representing in federal parliament and to be counted amongst them is an immense privilege.

At this stage, I need to acknowledge the fantastic advice and assistance I received from Mark Arbib, Karl Bitar and Sam Dastyari from the New South Wales ALP head office. All of the Labor shadow ministers in the last parliament were great, but, in particular, Wayne Swan and Anthony Albanese need to be acknowledged for the support they gave to and tireless work they put into my campaign. Senator Hutchins has been a fantastic supporter for many years and has helped to create the opportunity to win back Dobell. Along with former member Michael Lee, he has provided tremendous insight into the many issues that affect the people of Dobell. I would also like to acknowledge the work of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke. He visited my electorate four times, along with many other electorates around the country. The shot of old Hawkie charisma was just the lift that my campaign needed. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten (ALP-Maribyrnong) – Maiden Speech

Bill Shorten was first elected to represent the Melbourne electorate of Maribyrnong at the 2007 federal election.

Shorten was the National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union from 2001 to 2007.

  • Watch Shorten’s Maiden Speech (19m)

Hansard transcript of Bill Shorten’s first speech to the House of Representatives on February 14, 2008.

Mr SHORTEN (Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services) (10:33 AM) —Congratulations to you, Mr Speaker, upon your election to this very important office. I rise today in full recognition of the honour which the people of Maribyrnong and the Australian Labor Party have granted me by enabling me to serve in this parliament. I rise in full recognition of the responsibility that comes with this honour: to serve my electorate and the Australian people. And I rise in full recognition of the historic moment the parliament and the Australian people witnessed yesterday when we said sorry to the stolen generation. What a time to join a new parliament, what a time to be part of a new government and what a time to be part of the creation of a new and more hopeful chapter in the ongoing story of reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. [Read more…]