Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1852


Mr WATTS (Gellibrand) (10:44): As all members of parliament know, not one of us got here on our own. Most of us have the honour of serving in this place because we stood on the shoulders of people who believe in our cause and believe in our ability to represent them in the Australian parliament. It is fitting and right, then, that we acknowledge them in this place once we are here.

Because of the enormous support that I received from such a large number of people, within the time permitted I could not mention all of those who played an important part in my being here to give my first speech this week. I take this opportunity today to thank the many people who gave of themselves that I may serve in this place. I would like to begin by thanking those who supported me from the very beginning, before I was even preselected as a candidate for the great Australian Labor Party. In particular, I would like to thank the member for Derrimut in the Victorian state parliament, Mr Telmo Languiller, and the dedicated members of the Ardeer branch of the Australian Labor Party. Mr Languiller and the members of the Ardeer branch share the passion for Australian multiculturalism that I expressed in my first speech and were strong supporters of my candidacy from the very start of my preselection. The suburbs of Sunshine, Sunshine West and Ardeer are extraordinarily diverse areas and Mr Languiller's long experience as an advocate for these communities was invaluable to me during my election campaign. Since the election, Telmo has been an ongoing source of mentorship to me and I thank him for his experienced counsel.

I would also like to thank Sam David and Cesar Piperno for their assistance in this regard. Mr Wayne Mader from the Transport Workers Union was also an early and much appreciated supporter and source of counsel for me. Other representatives of the Victorian parliament, Jill Hennessy, Marsha Thomson, Wade Noonan and Cesar Melham, have also provided valued support to me, both on the campaign trail and as a new and learning MP.

Well over 300 rank-and-file branch members gave their time, energy, expertise and guidance to the federal election campaign in Gellibrand. Every campaign relies on the great all-rounders who help in a myriad of ways in all facets of the campaign. I am particularly thankful in this regard to Pam Mutton, Tom Mutton, Alice Mutton, Bruce Light, Daniel McKinnon, Hakki Sulleyman, Natalie Sulleyman, Shagufta Ali, Kellie Macnaughtan, Alex Drummond, Ken Marriott, Tran Siu and Jackie Ngo. Many branch members gave their time at pre-polling booths, including the particularly generous Wilma Ploza-Green and Mike Perso. Branch members spent many hours with me in the bitter Melbourne cold campaigning at train stations on Labor's commitment to build the Melbourne metro rail tunnel, a policy that would greatly support constituents in Melbourne's west. In particular, Joe Attard, John Stapleton, Louise Persse and Olly Trippodi gave large amounts of their time. Many branch members also took on the big task of being booth captains on election day, including Denis Quigley, Neil Tolliday, Andy Marron, Clovis Mwanba, Carl Marsich, Tony Cassar, Martin Mankowski, Sophia Agneskis, Thomas King, John Cumming, Monika Grierson, Hamdi Koyu, Sam McCrone, Sam Kastelan, Mark Ward, Kaitlin Ferris, Clive Bracey, Sandra Willis, David McKenna, Martin Zacharov, Alana McWhirter and many of the people I have already mentioned today.

Finally, on a personal note, I would like to thank the many other people who have mentored me throughout various stages of my life—no mean feat considering the base material they were working with: Tony Warren, Geoff Booth, Jon Stanhope, Philip Gould, Terry Gygar, Bernard McCabe, Jeff McGregor, Tim Ryan, Neil Carabine, Renae Lattey, Mark Tapley, Peter Barron, Nicola Roxon, Ralph Willis, John Brumby and Steve Bracks. To them I give my recognition and thanks.

I thank these people knowing that there are people who worked for me in many ways that I will never know of. They do the off-the-ball work—those who do not seek praise or thanks but work quietly because they believe in the Labor cause. I particularly thank them for their contributions. To all of these people, I owe you a great debt of gratitude. All of us in the Labor Party do.