Page 314 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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I would be nothing without the magnificent support and dedication from my family—my beautiful wife, Katrina, who never stopped supporting my political ambitions, and my son, Blake, who became a keen member of the party and gave up much of his teenage interests to be a persistent and key member of the campaign team. There were times when I thought he was waving election signs on the side of roads, only to learn that the sign he was waving read “I need a formal date”. You will be pleased to know that he eventually found a date for the formal.

I am very proud of my son. 2016 has been a busy year for him. He just successfully completed year 12 whilst holding down a part-time job and helped me in the campaign in his spare time. We want our children to have access to the best education and to have greater opportunities than we had. As parents, we tend to go without to give our children the best possible start in life, and I believe Blake has a bright future ahead.

The extraordinary drive, commitment and support Katrina gave me were truly inspirational. It pushed me in my desire to succeed and to not let her down. I firmly believe in the term “Behind every great man is an even greater woman” and I have a wife that proves it. I love you both and I am deeply indebted to you.

My superb campaign team, many with a wealth of knowledge from past elections, put in a sterling effort to help me get across the line. This involved many months of planning, many meetings, plenty of advice and countless hours on the campaign trail. My team put in many hours doorknocking, letterboxing and holding community stalls. I believe their use of social media made a real difference, and our campaign launch was magnificent.

I owe the success of my campaign to my team: firstly, my wife, Katrina, and our son, Blake; Tony Cole, who is here; Ewan Brown; Sarwat Maqbooll; Chris Horsecroft; Martin Dunn; Karin Oerlemans; Wayne Waryon, who is here also; Ian Barrass as well; Sam Fairall-lee; Chris Inglis; Clinton White; Zach Lombardo; Ben Puckett; and the many other dedicated volunteers and supporters in the community.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked why I decided to enter politics. It is quite an easy question to answer, actually. Mateship is the reason. I was raised to value the difference of opinion. I grew up respecting different points of view, and I am proud to say I continue to hold that same respect and bond of mateship. It is this very skill that will translate well in this chamber but also, more importantly, out in our community.

I am the first to admit I certainly do not know all things. I will be a member of this place who is focused on consulting the individuals in our community, businesses, organisations, charities and groups, on the real issues that matter to them. I have proven my ability to listen and now is the time for me to speak for the people of Yerrabi, to begin the process of building strong relationships and representing the issues here in this place.

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