Speeches

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:38): On Friday morning, 14 March, I had the pleasure of attending the school assembly at The Patch Primary School in the electorate of Casey at the invitation of Principal Debra Herrmann. I was there to present certificates to their school leadership group and to see firsthand the great work that the school is doing. I also had the pleasure of presenting an Australian flag, an Aboriginal flag and a Torres Strait Islander flag to the school. I was pleased to see how seriously they take study of the history of all three flags. I particularly want to mention the flag monitors for the school, who have an important responsibility and are, obviously, doing a great job. They are Tameika Butler, Nyssa Walton, Ebony Huidobro, Alex Morrison, Indigo Sangster, Sophie Lee-Wren, Lily Margerison, Ashley Britton and Yasmin Page.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:39): Last Saturday the Mooroolbark community again hosted the Celebrate Mooroolbark Festival at the Red Earth Park and Mooroolbark Community Centre. It is a wonderful annual event that brings together local schools, businesses, community groups and many others in a low-cost environment with entertainment for people of all ages. Throughout the day there was a parade, a full stage program, roving performers, kids activities, workshops, rides and food stalls. It was a tremendous event. The hardworking community and a hardworking committee ensures that this event is a success each and every year. I want to pay tribute to the chair of the event, Andrew Lang; to the vice-chairs, Randall Bourchier, Barbara Austin, Liz Ryan; to the secretary, Jean Mitchinson; and to the tireless treasurer, Margaret Goldup, who does so much for the group as well. Most of the local schools were involved in the parade and…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:41): Today in this grievance debate I want to talk about the importance of the centenary of Anzac, particularly for local communities. Quite rightly, over the coming months and indeed the coming four years we as a nation will, 100 years on, reflect on the contribution and the sacrifice of so many Australians in battles from Gallipoli through the Western Front to war's end. All of us here in this House know and reflect at critical times like Anzac Day and Remembrance Day on just what a massive contribution it was. From a population of just on five million, 400,000 served, 160,000 were injured and 60,000 were killed. Those national statistics tell so much, but it is really only when you look at the individual contribution of communities—in country Australia, in electorates like mine that comprise both country Australia and outer suburbia, and in electorates like…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:35): I rise this afternoon to make mention of two important community events that occurred in the Casey electorate in the last week or so. Last Friday, I had the honour of attending the opening of the Montrose & District Men's Shed. All of us in this House know the great work that groups of volunteers do to raise community passion and the funds needed to open Men's Sheds, and that has certainly been the situation in the Montrose community. With some help from the local council and Councillor Len Cox, the organising committee were able to obtain the old Montrose fire station, that was no longer in use. It was originally built in the 1940s, and for a number of weeks and months they have been restoring that fire station so that it is fit for purpose as a new home for the Montrose &…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:00): As I have listened to the three contributions from those opposite I see confected outrage, that unembarrassable quality, and Western Australian voters, of course, have seen it before. You would think from listening to them that Western Australian voters are going to forget that the two biggest issues in that state at the election just over six months ago were the carbon tax and the mining tax. The voters of Western Australia sent a message loud and clear to the Labor Party, and your response back to those voters in Western Australia is that they got it wrong. We saw this confected outrage start with the member for Brand, who moved this matter of public importance on the Commission of Audit and the state of Western Australia. He and those other speakers conveniently forget their approach in government to weighty documents. As the Prime Minister…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:15): I rise to speak in this address-in-reply, the first item of business for the 44th Parliament, and in doing so thank the people of Casey for their support and endorsement at the election on 7 September last year. The electorate of Casey underwent a redistribution between the 43rd and 44th parliaments. In political terms that reduced the Liberal margin in Casey from a little over four per cent to about 1.9 per cent. The electorate increased in size basically threefold, taking in all of the Yarra Valley—the towns of Steels Creek, Yarra Glen, Healesville—and all of the towns along the Warburton Highway, just to name a few. It meant that the campaign was a very different campaign to previous campaigns in the smaller electorate of Casey. The result that we received on election day saw a swing of more than five per cent to the…