Senator Rex Patrick has delivered his maiden speech to the Senate.
Patrick, 50, was appointed to the Senate on …. to fill a casual vacancy left by the resignation of his party’s leader, Nick Xenophon.
- Listen to Patrick’s speech (22m)
- Watch Patrick’s speech (24m)
Hansard transcript of Senator Rex Patrick’s maiden speech.
The PRESIDENT (17:04): Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Patrick to make his first speech, and I ask honourable senators that the usual courtesies be extended to him.
Senator PATRICK (South Australia) (17:04): Over a quarter of a century ago, on 4 November 1992, an honourable member in the House of Representatives described the Senate as unrepresentative swill. I note with a touch of irony that the honourable member, someone who I admire greatly for his positive contributions to our nation, was at that time part owner in a piggery. His comments about the Senate nonetheless displayed a broader and cursory misconception in the community about the crucial role of the Senate in our parliamentary system and, while widely and repeatedly reported, the ‘swill’ comments have seldom been challenged. In this, my first speech, I hope I can counter those misconceptions, make some observations on what I think the Senate does well and what the Senate could do better, and, above all, why this matters in a practical sense for all Australians.