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Wednesday, 18 September 1996
Page: 4618

Mr LLOYD(7.44 p.m.) —Tonight I would like to place on record my congratulations to all the members of the Australian Paralympic team which recently competed in Atlanta with such outstanding results. The Australian Paralympic team won 42 gold medals, 37 silver medals and 27 bronze medals—a total of 106.

The team finished second overall on the gold medal tally and have been welcomed back with parades throughout Australia where thousands of Australians turned out to show the paralympians how proud we are as a nation of these magnificent athletes. Whilst it is important to recognise the medal winners, the world record holders, the champions, I would today like to also recognise the athletes who competed, gave their best and proudly represented their country without winning a medal because they are, in my eyes, all champions.

One such athlete is Ms Sue-Ellen Lovett from Mudgee in New South Wales. She is a visually impaired equestrian athlete who has worked tirelessly throughout her life not only to continue to compete in equestrian events despite her rapidly failing vision but also to help others through the Riding for the Disabled Association and other groups and by undertaking many arduous endurance rides throughout Australia to help raise money for those less fortunate than herself.

Sue-Ellen and many other members of the equestrian team were forced to use borrowed horses for their events and overcame many other difficulties to achieve their very credible results in Atlanta. Once again, congratulations and well done to each and every one of the 162 members of the Australian Paralympic team.

Also, in the few minutes I have tonight, I want to make a couple of other comments as well. I was raised in a family that always believed in giving everyone a fair go. Having been involved in many different sports with my family, I have always taught my children to be good sports. After all, it is the Australian way to be a good sport—that is, accept the final result, congratulate the winner and gracefully accept your defeat until the next game.

Politics is very much like sport. The opponents present themselves to the voters each three years, contest the election campaign, accept the will of the people and the victor becomes the member. At least, that is how it should happen but, obviously, some members on the other side do not believe in a fair go, a fair contest and the Australian way.

On 2 March, the Australian people passed judgment on the opposing teams and overwhelmingly showed that the Labor Party had lost the ball, knocked on too many times and basically had forgotten what the game was all about. In the seat of Lindsay, the workers, the families, the retired people and the small businesses all said, `Enough is enough.' They were sick and tired of the old, tired team dragging them down.

For 14 years their member, Ross Free, took the people of western Sydney for granted and traditional Labor voters took the opportunity on 2 March to elect a new team to represent the seat of Lindsay. They elected vibrant, young, dynamic Jackie Kelly to be their member. Obviously, the Labor Party have not heard about a fair go or the Australian good sports.

Mr Slipper —She will be elected again, though.

Mr LLOYD —She will be, most definitely. They challenged Jackie Kelly's election in the Court of Disputed Returns and they did not accept the wishes of the people of Lindsay. They could not accept that nearly 9,000 people changed their vote. They could not accept that they had been rejected.

The High Court has now disqualified Jackie Kelly on a technicality because the Labor Party has challenged the result. The Labor Party has robbed the people of Lindsay of their choice of Jackie Kelly as their representative in the Howard-Fischer coalition government.

Mr Slipper —She'll be back.

Mr LLOYD —She will be back, definitely. In the short time that Jackie Kelly has been in this place, she has fought hard for the residents of Lindsay and won the respect of new and experienced parliamentarians alike. At the by-election, the people of Lindsay will have a choice between giving Jackie Kelly, as part of the coalition government, a fair go to continue to work for them, to give their kids a sound and secure future, to get western Sydney moving again, to stimulate business, to create jobs and to ensure that western Sydney and the seat of Lindsay are not neglected, or they can go back to the recycled, tired Labor member as part of the irrelevant and ineffectual Labor opposition.