Speeches

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:16): We rightly point out on this side of the House that those opposite are divided on so many things, but we have seen today that they are united on one thing: they are completely, utterly unembarrassable. Have a look at the front of this MPI—to come in and lecture the government on honesty and accountability, when the previous six years of government was littered with dishonesty and incompetence which was covered up with more dishonesty and incompetence. Speakers on this side have rightly pointed out the uncountable number of times the former Treasurer, the member for Lilley, pledged a surplus and then announced a surplus and declared a surplus when it never existed. We can go right back to the time they had their first deficit. The instinct of those opposite was to cover up. The member for Lilley delivered the budget speech with a…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:01): I rise today to make mention of a number of school leaders in the Casey electorate. As all members here know, leadership presentations are an important time for our local schools, and last Friday I had the privilege of congratulating school leaders and presenting certificates and badges at their assemblies. First, to Ruskin Park Primary School in Croydon, I have had the pleasure of being at this leadership presentation every year since my election back in 2001 with principal Elle May Laikve. I want to make mention of the school captains, Emma Williamson and Josh Tilker; the house captains for Red House, Margot Toynton and Connor Tisch; Blue House, Maija Siljander and Jaydyn Carter McMurtry; Green House, Alicia Woodman and Alan Lopez; and Gold House, Wendy Wang and Cooper Foulis. The Casey electorate, Mr Deputy Speaker, as you well know, is a very diverse electorate…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:19): I rise this afternoon to congratulate and pay tribute to a former constituent of mine, Matt Haanappel. I have got to know Matt fairly well in the last couple of years. He was recognised on Australia Day for his contribution to sport and community, with a Medal of the Order of Australia. Matt is from Croydon Hills, formerly in the electorate of Casey, and has cerebral palsy. He competed in the London Paralympic Games, where he won a number of medals including a gold medal as part of the 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay. He also works as an official ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley in Victoria. I have had the pleasure of meeting Matt on a number of occasions. He is a passionate and positive member of the community. Since his award, he has won numerous other events,…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:01): On behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, I wish to make a statement relating to the committee's inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Above the Line Voting) Bill 2013. The committee has considered the content of this statement and unanimously endorses it. On 12 December 2013, the Senate adopted the report of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Above the Line Voting) Bill 2013, which recommended that this bill be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry. As result, the bill stood referred to the electoral matters committee. The bill proposes to reform the system for electing candidates to the Senate in light of perceived attempts to 'game' the system through preference deals at the 2013 federal election. This proposal is timely, as the current system has resulted in the election…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:31): As all members of the House would be aware, we have just had the fifth anniversary of the tragic Black Saturday fires in Victoria and there have been a number of memorial services for those communities. I wanted to speak in the House today about one event that occurred in the Yarra Valley and has occurred for the last three years, and that is a memorial cruise from Lilydale, through Yarra Glen to the Healesville railway station. This has been organised by three dedicated members of the community—Stacey and Troy Kinsmore, and Wendy Bennett—in memory of their friends Kate Ansett and Steve Fisher from Toolangi, who were killed on that terrible day five years ago. It is their way of keeping their memory alive and it is their way of raising money for the CFA. For the last three years they have had this cruise…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:46): A little over 100 years ago, five months ahead of the outbreak of World War I, an important historical event occurred in the heart of the electorate of Casey in the towns of Lilydale and Coldstream. In the second week of February 1914, John Monash brought 3,000 troops by train to Lilydale for a camp of instruction. As I said, it was five months ahead of the outbreak of World War I, at a time when the country knew that war was imminent. Those 3,000 soldiers came for a week of instruction and training. On the Thursday of the second week of February 1914, they moved from Lilydale to Coldstream for a mock battle. As it happens, this battle was witnessed by General Sir Ian Hamilton who of course would go on to a very senior role in Gallipoli. On Sunday 8 February this important…