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Thursday, 26 October 2017
Page: 12279

Mr IRONS (Swan) (12:56): Azerbaijan is a country that we don't know a lot about, but I'm pleased to inform the House of the success of the first trade delegation from Australia to Azerbaijan last week. Twenty-seven delegates, including Marcel Hilmer from my electorate of Swan, representing 20 Australian companies travelled to Baku to look at the opportunities for trade and business. As you would imagine from a private sector delegation, meetings took place with the private business sector as well as with individual companies and the necessary government agencies. The companies represented sectors that included hospitality, wine, dairy, health, mining and many more. The opportunities included trade deals, and even the establishment of businesses for buying a share of businesses that already exist in Azerbaijan.

This delegation was a very positive step forward for both countries. I understand that a number of contracts are now being drawn up, and they will result in improved economic activity within and between the two nations. These contracts are just the start of a strengthening business relationship, and I look forward to hearing of Australian businesses opening offices in Azerbaijan, and I hope to hear about Azerbaijani businesses coming here, opening businesses and employing Australians. I don't need to tell the members of this place that more jobs are good for Australia—and, of course, more jobs are also good for Azerbaijan.

Interestingly, the business relationship between our countries is not new, of course. A company called Incat in Tasmania built a large ferry for Azerbaijan several years ago, and, just recently, Austal Ships built its sister ship in Western Australia for Azerbaijan. These are both companies that I dealt with through my business before I came to this place. The ships are there to support the oil and gas industry on the Caspian Sea. So, already, Australians have benefited from jobs based on Azerbaijan's demands. I also note that WorleyParsons is very active in Azerbaijan, and of course there are many Australians already employed in the commodities sector in Azerbaijan.

There is every reason to be positive about this developing relationship between our countries, as success of the private sector means successful outcomes for this government and for all Australians. I look forward to future developments and positive outcomes for both our nations arising out of this first, historic trade delegation to Azerbaijan.

I would now like to take the opportunity to update the House on the outcome of local government elections in my electorate of Swan last weekend. As we know, local government is a very important part of the democratic process. People often say it's the closest part of the democratic process to the people. There are five local government authorities that reside in my electorate of Swan, and they are the City of Belmont, the City of Canning, the City of Kalamunda, the City of South Perth and the Town of Victoria Park. I would like to congratulate all those who were elected on the weekend to represent their local communities.

From the City of South Perth, I would like to congratulate Glenn Cridland and Tracie McDougall on being elected to the Como ward; Blake D'Souza on being elected to the Manning ward; my lovely wife on being re-elected to the Mill Point ward; and, lastly, Greg Milner on being elected to the Moresby ward. For the Town of Victoria Park, I congratulate Karen Vernon and Ronhhda Potter on being elected to the Banksia ward; and Bronwyn Ife and Brian Oliver on being elected to the Jarrah ward. From the City of Belmont, I'd like to congratulate Bernie Ryan on being re-elected to the East ward; Janet Powell and Jenny Davis on being elected to the South ward; and George Sekulla and Lauren Cayoun on being elected to the West ward. From the City of Canning, only the Beeloo and Mason wards fall within my electoral boundaries—they also fall within the electoral boundaries of Tangney and Burt. I'd like to congratulate Graham Barry on being elected to Mason ward, and Sara Saberi to the Beeloo ward. The City of Kalamunda is to the east of my electorate, and only one of the wards falls within my electoral boundaries. I'd like to congratulate Dylan O'Connor and David Almond on being elected to the North West ward.

From one elected member to another—as we in this place all we know—the privilege of representing your community is one of the most important aspects of your job, no matter what level of government you are elected to. As in this House, the hours are not just nine to five, Monday to Friday. My wife attended a meeting last night and left the council chambers at 11.35 last night. That is the type of work that we as elected representatives do. We're expected to be on call at all times to help, whether a member of parliament, a councillor or the president of the local cricket club. You are there because the people have put their faith in you to represent them, and the one piece of advice I can give all of you is to ensure you never breach that faith. I'd like to also thank those who previously served as councillors but were not re-elected and those who put their hand in the race to represent their community. It is the dedication of people like you that makes our community what it is.

Question agreed to.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 13:01