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Christian Porter (Lib – Pearce) – First Speech

Christian Porter was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Liberal member for Pearce at the 2013 federal election.


Pearce is a safe Liberal electorate in Western Australia. It is located in the eastern region of outer metropolitan Perth and surrounding rural areas. It includes the coastal area from Quinns Rock to Lancelin. It covers the country centres of Gingin, Bindoon and Toodyay in the north, Northam and Grass Valley in the east, and York and Beverley to the south, plus the eastern portion of the Darling Ranges and the Swan Valley. [Read more…]

Lucy Wicks (Lib – Robertson) – First Speech

Lucy Wicks was first elected as the Liberal member for Robertson at the 2013 federal election.


Wicks defeated Deborah O’Neill who won the seat for the ALP in 2010, replacing Belinda Neal who won it in 2007. O’Neill has since been appointed to the Senate, filling the casual vacancy created by the retirement of Bob Carr. Robertson was represented by the Liberal Party’s Jim Lloyd for the duration of the Howard government from 1996 to 2007.

Robertson is a New South Wales electorate situated north of Sydney. It extends from the Hawkesbury River in the south, then north to Kulnura and east to Lisarow. The main population centres include Gosford, Terrigal, Woy Woy and Erina. [Read more…]

Karen McNamara (Lib – Dobell) – First Speech

Karen McNamara was first elected as the Liberal member for Dobell at the 2013 federal election.


McNamara replaced the scandal-plagued Craig Thomson who had represented the seat for the ALP since 2007.

Dobell is an electorate north of Sydney which includes areas of Wyong Shire, Hawkesbury Shire and Gosford City Council. Major towns in the electorate includes 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. [Read more…]

Eric Hutchinson (Lib – Lyons) – First Speech

Eric Hutchinson was first elected as the Liberal member for Lyons at the federal election of 2013.


Hutchinson defeated Dick Adams who had held the seat for 20 years from 1993. Previously, the seat had been held for the Liberals by Max Burr, first as Wilmot from 1975 and then Lyons from 1984. Prior to Burr, the seat was held for the ALP by Gil Duthie from 1946 until 1975. [Read more…]

Brett Whiteley (Lib – Braddon) – First Speech

Brett Whiteley was elected as the Liberal member for Braddon at the 2013 federal election.


Whiteley was formerly a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 2002 until 2010. He defeated Labor’s Sid Sidebottom who had held Braddon from 1998 until 2004 and again from 2007.

Braddon is a rural electorate in the west and north-west of Tasmania. Burnie and Devonport are the major towns in the electorate. Other towns include Currie, Latrobe, Penguin, Queenstown, Rosebery, Smithton, Somerset, Stanley, Strahan, Ulverstone, Waratah, Wynyard and Zeehan. King Island is also part of Braddon.

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

  • Listen to Whiteley’s speech (22m)
  • Watch Whiteley:

Hansard transcript of Brett Whiteley’s first speech to the House of Representatives.


Mr WHITELEY (Braddon) (16:08): I rise an honoured man—to an honour given me by the people of Braddon. I rise as a member of the Liberal Party and as their chosen and thankful candidate. I rise as a man humbled by the love and support of his wife and children, his wider family and his lifelong friends. I rise as the 1,130th elected member of parliament since Federation and as the 13th member for the seat of Darwin-Braddon.

Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election to the role. This is my second maiden speech in a parliament, as I had the privilege of delivering my first parliamentary speech in the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 2002—which, by the way, can be found That just gave me 6,000 more words!

I am 11 years older, hopefully wiser and delighted to be able to make my first speech in this place of national significance. I offer my congratulations to all elected members, especially the new members and friends of the parliament. I congratulate Prime Minister Tony Abbott and thank him for his disciplined leadership of our party. I take this opportunity to say thank you on behalf of my electorate to the former member for Braddon, Mr Sidebottom, who, notwithstanding our political differences, sacrificed much—as many of us do—over a 12-year period to be the elected representative.

From the mines of the west of Tasmania to the wind farms spinning in the far north-west and from the crystal clear waters of Boat Harbour Beach to the banks of the Mersey River through the pristine paddocks of King Island, which lie in some of the cleanest air on the planet, Braddon is right up there with the most unique and beautiful parts of our country. We are makers. We are makers of whiskey, underground mining equipment, magnificent cheese, truffles, leatherwood honey, the freshest and best of vegetables, the biggest and highest-jumping salmon, octopus, quality milk products sought by a growing Asian population—and the list goes on and on. Braddon charmingly punches well above its weight.

I do need to speak about the state of my state. There are many great things happening in Braddon: great people are still dreaming; innovators are still designing; farmers are still believing; and leaders are still inspiring. But we have some work to do. After 16 years of Labor in my state—for four of which they have been in the political bed with the Greens—the lack of confidence in government is palpable. It is time to change the state government. It is time for people to understand that strategic decisions will need to be made. It is time for us to herald to the rest of Australia that we need your help, that we appreciate your help but that our intention is to earn back your respect. I know that other states look on us with a degree of suspicion. As a small island state we are treated well through fiscal equalisation, and I know that this is accepted by the rest of the nation to a point.


But it does not help our cause or reputation when our state government makes unwise decisions that impede development, scare off investment and purposely set out to destroy sustainable industries such as forestry and mining—and then continually has its hand out for even more assistance. We have allowed political minority groups such as the Greens to dictate our future; to use my state as a political, social and environmental experiment. To make matters worse, they commit economic treason: they travel the world peddling misleading information and threatening and intimidating global investors. To put it bluntly, 90 per cent of Tasmanians have had enough.

Sadly, as in life, the political mistakes of the past leave deep wounds—and in Tasmania they have. Unemployment is at record levels. Health and education outcomes are the worst in the nation despite record levels of expenditure, clearly indicating that solving problems is not necessarily about funding but is about better policy. Tasmania this year will have the biggest budget deficit in the state’s history. Investment has dried up, our credit rating has been downgraded and hundreds of Tasmania’s best are leaving my state. Ten thousand fewer Tasmanians are in full-time employment since Labor and the Greens sought ultimate power at the expense of ordinary mums and dads in Braddon.

I plead today with the people of Tasmania to give our island the last-gasp chance that it needs to rebuild its economy, hold onto our innovators and deliver the great potential we are capable of and to vote for a change for a brighter future with the Liberals under the leadership of Will Hodgman in March. It is great to see the leader of the Tasmanian opposition here in the gallery to support Braddon today.

We need governments at both the state and federal level to do what it takes to re-open Tasmania for business. We are and we must be much more than a national park. But I believe that I was elected because my electorate wants me—wants this government—to talk about tomorrow. It wants us to plan for tomorrow and to build an economy and the infrastructure we need for tomorrow.

So, for tomorrow, I have a vision of a better Braddon—a vision that includes the growth of the Cradle Coast Campus of the University of Tasmania. We cannot continue to see our university solely as a place of education; it is an economic driver. The University of Tasmania is a significant contributor to our economy. If Braddon can gain its fair share of the targeted increase in international students over the next five years at least $30 million will be injected into our local economy. I am committed to working with the university to deliver its tertiary health program to the north of the state, including Braddon.

I have a vision for a better Braddon, driven by small and family businesses, released from the handcuffs of regulation and workplace restraints. Imagine if even half of the 6,000 small businesses in my electorate were inspired and empowered to increase their workforce by just one person. Small and family businesses are under siege in Braddon. We talk a lot about endangered species in my electorate; small business is the real endangered species. Sadly, government has for too long taken small business for granted. I guarantee that I will not take them for granted. I have a vision for a better Braddon and a better Australia, embraced by a new generation that rediscovers the Australia of old. That is a nation that can afford to make things—an Australian industry and manufacturing sector free from stifling costs and unrealistic union demands and reinvigorating our competitiveness in the global village.


I have a vision for a better Braddon that will have the opportunity to compete in the marketplace without the burden of an uneven playing field when it comes to the cost of freighting our goods and produce. I look forward very much to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s review of Tasmania’s shipping, as it seeks to investigate the inconsistencies in the system and to ensure that Tasmania is not at any market disadvantage. I will continue to highlight what I see to be deficiencies in the system. I have a vision for a better Braddon and a better Tasmania that has a Bass Strait passenger service that understands the tourism challenges of regional Tasmania—a fast ferry model focused on affordable fares designed to fill the vessel with passengers all the year round, and not just through the summer months. I believe that the current business model is wrong and is costing the regions a significant and much-needed increase in visitors and, given that the federal government provides the current funding support, I feel it is more than appropriate to ensure that the best outcomes are being achieved.

I have a vision of a much closer relationship with Victorian commerce and industry. Imagine fast ferries from north-west Tasmania empowering our local innovators and contractors to do business in the greater Melbourne market. If we can get that transport infrastructure right I can see a day when Victorians could relocate portions of their business to north-west Tasmania, where it would be affordable to do so. Some may even choose to do business in Victoria, but have their family live the coast lifestyle of Braddon.

I have a vision for a better Braddon and a better Tasmania that embraces the opportunity of growing timber. We can grow timber in Tasmania; we do it well and we have some of the best forest brains in the country. In a carbon sensitive world, it is ludicrous for us to be moving away from a focus on forestry. This industry has been derailed all in the pursuit of political power. I note the words of Dr John Tanner who said this: ‘Wood fibre is the new milk solids—there is a lot yet to be discovered within the timber industry—it’s like the dairy industry of 30 years ago.’ Madam Speaker, you would remember this: it was not so long ago that milk was just milk in a bottle. Now it forms the basis of a whole range of saleable and exportable products. This, too, can be the future, I believe, for a revitalised timber industry in Braddon. I do not support any more lockups and I unapologetically oppose the additional World Heritage listing recommended by the previous Labor federal government—no more, because nearly half of my state is locked up. Thousands of people have lost their jobs; regional communities have been devastated; and our economy is so much the poorer. Enough is enough.

I strongly support long-term regional forest agreements. These agreements need a 20-year rolling tenure with five-year reviews if we are to provide resource security and a stable investment environment. I hold onto hope that a world-class, environmentally-acceptable pulp mill will be built in Tasmania. Whilst the plan for construction is in the electorate of Bass, the flow-on impacts to Braddon of a $2.5 billion project would be enormous. The failure to build the approved pulp mill stands, in my view, as a symbol of Tasmania’s economic failure. We must deliver the political security and the resource security that will help attract investors. The construction of a pulp mill would equally symbolise Tasmania’s economic resurgence.

I have a vision for a better Braddon that can build on its Tasmanian brand by increasing dairy production by the targeted 40 per cent over the next five years. Reaching this target will require more cows—tens of thousands of them—more sustainable farms, new farms and, most importantly, hundreds of new jobs in the industry. I have a vision for a better Braddon, of an aquaculture industry that continues to lead the world in innovation and quality produce. Our half-a-billion-dollar Tasmanian salmon industry has developed harvest systems, feed technology and animal welfare strategies. They are unique in the world and only now are they being utilised by the Norwegians and the Scots—the biggest fish farmers in the world. As an island state and island nation, water is a resource that we have aplenty. We have before us an opportunity not only to satisfy our domestic requirements but also to be a renowned world-class exporter of exceptional seafood. I intend to support this industry during the next three years.

I have a vision of a mining industry confident—finally confident—in the processes of approval that they undertake; confident that the process optimises environmental outcomes, but is efficient, fair and reasonable, dependable and free of opportunistic political intervention. Australian mines of the 21st century know well their environmental responsibilities, and it is high time we got off their backs and let them once again stimulate our economy. I have a vision for a better Braddon, a region renowned for its agricultural produce—carrots, potatoes, peas and beef, but also for olive oil, cider, beer and tulips.


Being an island state, we are not afraid to move produce across the water—be it to the big island to our north or to dining tables in New York, Tokyo or London. My vision for Braddon sees primary production reclaim its place in our local and national economy, supported by its natural advantages of reliable rainfall, fertile soils and its innovators. I have a vision for an exciting manufacturing future in Braddon. Despite the challenges faced by the sector, there is a resolute drive by business leaders to transform the industry from the traditional manufacturing of the past toward an advanced manufacturing future with a focus on specialised product that meets the unique needs of high-end clients. This process is already underway in Braddon. With the development of new markets, however, we need workers with a different skill set. And in order for us to exploit every economic opportunity, we must lure skilled Tasmanians back from the mainland and actively encourage young people to complete years 11 and 12 and continue in their education, attaining the highly specialised skills needed to drive this sector.

For tomorrow, I have a vision for a better Braddon and a better Australia, inspired by a new generation of leaders within our businesses and on our shop floors. We need leaders who understand that their employer is not their enemy but the lifeblood for their families. We need leaders at the coalface who understand that having a job is a great deal better than having no job. Winston Churchill got it right when he said, ‘Some see private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.’ We need leaders and workers who will lead by example and help the horse to pull the wagon. If we are to build a stronger Australia it is better that we help the horse rather than kill the horse.

I will be promoting Braddon, if not Tasmania, as a focus for the reigniting of mutual obligation—not just work for the dole but train and learn for the dole. The days of receiving taxpayer support for no practical return or personal development should be over. We need to get everyone involved in the task of building community capacity. It should not be for schools to provide breakfast for children so that their learning capacity is enhanced. I know we must, until things drastically change, but we simply must aspire to create a better future for our children. We must change the attitude of entitlement if we are to lead the next generation into a stronger Australia.

After contesting four Tasmanian state elections under the Hare-Clark voting system, I have to say I love the single member electorate alternative. Party members locked arms and committed to nothing less than winning the seat of Braddon and being represented in the next government of our nation. I humbly thank them and the hundreds of volunteers for their belief in me and their practical gifting of their time and talents.

To my campaign team, we built not only a campaign strategy but friendships; we forged not only plans but teamwork; and we created not only good political messages but memories. To my campaign manager, Kent Townsend: God surprised us both with your call to the role of leading the campaign team—thank you. A sincere thankyou to Laura Richardson, Leanne Holland, Leon Perry, Annette Overton, Ian Chalk, Rod Bramich, Paul Saward, Mary Duniam, Anthony Haneveer, Joshua Whiteley, Jackson Whiteley, Jeannie Murell and Eric Mobbs.

To state Liberal president, Geoff Page, and Sam McQuestin, our state director: your focus on winning was contagious. To Senator Richard Colbeck: your support of my campaign was first-class. To Senator Stephen Parry: your encouragement of me to make the shift to the federal level of politics was apparently well founded. To Senators Eric Abetz and David Bushby: thank you for your commitment.

It is timely to acknowledge the tremendous campaign efforts of Sally Chandler, Sara Courtney, Bernadette Black and Tanya Dennison—valiant women who fought the battle but were not successful.

The love and support of family and friends is a blessing on our lives. We are made to be loved and to give love. Let me commence by thanking my mother and my siblings, Lee and Amanda, and their families. The road travelled has indeed been an interesting one. My mother, Margaret, is here today, and I pay tribute to her capacity over the last 15 years to provide me with the love and support equal to both her and my late father, Daryl.


To my beautiful adult children, Joshua, Jackson and Jessica: you could not even begin to imagine the delight I find in your company. Today we come together to acknowledge the great honour given me by the people of Braddon—the place in which you grew up.

Where does one find the words, the sentences, to acknowledge the joy of a life shared for 29 years with the woman you love? To my wife, Sue, we have journeyed together in an attitude of ‘what’s best for each other is best for us’. Sue, your unwavering love and support, together with your wisdom and discernment—yes, wisdom and discernment—has helped to bring me here today.

I thank Sue’s parents, Alan and Elsie Dyer, for their embrace of me as their son-in-law and now their local member. Life tests us from time to time, and during my campaign Alan and Elsie lost their son, and my wife lost her younger brother, John, when he died suddenly of a heart attack in his garden at the age of 49. Today I pay tribute to John Dyer for his friendship and for his fascination with my political career. I thank God for his positive influence in his local community, and we miss him.

In conclusion, members are entitled to ask what values and issues I feel passionately about. I value human potential. I have been on the receiving end of the contribution of caring and gifted people in my life, and it is my desire to draw the best out of others. Politics should be about maximising the great resource of human potential. I value human life, whether just conceived or just about to leave this life. Human life is a gift from God and deserving of mutual human dignity. I will always seek to preserve the sanctity of human life.

I value family and believe that it is the essence of the family unit that binds our nation. I believe in traditional marriage between one man and one woman and hold the view that, where possible, children are best served by the positive nurturing of both a mother and a father; but I have huge respect for those in our community who love and care for their children alone.

I do value faith in God. I believe that almost everyone looks for God—the high achievers who run out of rungs, the low achievers who run out of hope, the elderly who run out of time and the young who are running out of alternatives. Most seek the filling of a spiritual vacuum.

I ask ministers of this newly elected government to work with me and my lower house amigos to build a stronger Tasmania that is more confident in its own identity and potential. I would like to think that the people of Braddon voted for me, voted for this government, because they wanted their single, most precious vote to be rewarded with the improvement of circumstance, a stretch of potential, a wider spectacle of opportunity and a greater sense of hope. I thank the House.


The SPEAKER: Order! Before I call the honourable member for Lyons, I remind honourable members that this is his maiden speech. I therefore ask that the usual courtesies be extended to him. I have great pleasure in calling the honourable member for Lyons.

Melissa Price (Lib-Durack) – First Speech

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


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…]

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 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…]

Abbott Announces Panel To Examine Democratisation Of NSW Liberals

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the formation of an Expert Panel to consider reform of the NSW Liberal Party.

The announcement came during Abbott’s address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney today.

“I love this party,” Abbott told the gathering. He said the Expert Panel would examine preselection reform and democratisation of the party.

The reform process will be led by former prime minister John Howard. He will be assisted by one of his former ministers, David Kemp, the former president of the NSW division, Chris McDiven, and the longtime member for Berowra, Philip Ruddock.

Concern over the preselection process and factionalism within the NSW division has grown in recent years. The party’s failure to win more seats in NSW cost it government in 2010. The candidacy of Jaymes Diaz cost the party the seat of Greenway at this year’s election.

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney.

Well, what a fantastic day to be together as part of our extended Liberal family. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning as your Prime Minister.

I am under no illusions, I know that the only reason that we have a new Government in Canberra, the only reason that I am Prime Minister is because I am the product of this great Party. [Read more…]

Carbon Tax Repeal Bills Passed By House Of Representatives

The bills to repeal the previous Labor government’s carbon tax have been passed by the House of Representatives.

Third Reading

The third reading of the eleven bills took place at 4.08pm today. The final vote was passed on the voices. In a near-deserted chamber, the Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, was congratulated by his colleagues. [Read more…]

Tony Pasin (Lib – Barker) – First Speech

Tony Pasin was first elected as the Liberal member for Barker at the 2013 federal election.

Pasin, 36, is a lawyer. He was born in Mt Gambier and served on the Mt Gambier City Council between 2003-10.

  • Listen to Pasin’s maiden speech (20m)
  • Watch Pasin (20m)

Hansard transcript of Tony Pasin’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives.

Mr PASIN (Barker) (09:02): Madam Speaker, in addressing this place for the first time, I add my voice to the chorus of congratulations on your election to the speakership. I am proud to have voted to elect you as the first conservative female Speaker—based on your merits and achievements, as all appointments should be. I am certain that in the discharge of your duties you will act with fairness and decorum, and ensure that my colleagues and I maintain our respect for this place and each other. [Read more…]