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Thursday, 14 November 2013
Page: 358

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (16:27): I begin my address-in-reply speech today in this 44th Parliament by expressing my great appreciation to the voters in Cowan for returning me to the House of Representatives, again, for a third term. I have contested four elections as the Liberal Party candidate for Cowan and won the last three. On every occasion the margin has improved. Before the 2004 election the Labor Party held the seat by 5.5 per cent. Now the margin is 7.46 per cent to me. So I do thank the electors of Cowan for entrusting me with the responsibility of representing them in parliament. It is a great honour. I know that, whatever happens as a member of parliament, my job is to always focus on making the lives of those in my electorate and the whole country better. It is not about us. We are the servants of our constituents and of the nation. We are not their masters.

Collectively in the last two parliaments I made 413 speeches in order to represent the people of Cowan and to say the things that needed to be said. My predecessor in Cowan made 174 speeches in three parliaments, but I want to assure my constituents that I will continue to speak and speak often on the things that matter. I have always spoken against the carbon tax, the ETS and the boats, and I have always spoken for human rights and freedoms in places such as Vietnam and Burma. These will continue to be themes I will pursue in this 44th Parliament. I will also pursue the things that matter more locally for the people of Cowan: federal roads and infrastructure such as the Swan Valley Bypass; national crime prevention initiatives such as the CCTV promise we made in Ballajura, to further secure the Kingfisher Oval precinct; and also the state government's promises of the Reid Highway interchange at Malaga Drive, the new Ballajura police station and the dualling of Gnangara Road. These are reminders to us that, whilst the primary responsibility and authority for these matters are state or local authorities, we in this place must also add our voices in support of these issues.

With regard to federal matters, the national issues are very clear. Essentially they are: getting rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax, stopping the boats and getting the economy back to where the elected government of this nation lives within its means and no longer spends against the future generations. This is why we were elected and this is what we always must do as members of this parliament.

Debate interrupted.