FEDERAL Perth Labor MP PATRICK GORMAN made his debut parliamentary speech in Canberra this week. He paid tribute to his family and called for more major tourist attractions in Perth, which he desribed as “the heart and the brain of WA”.
I AM incredibly grateful for the opportunities this country has afforded me.
Grateful the Whitlam Labor government opened up our universities, ensuring my parents met at Claremont Teachers College.
Grateful to have been surrounded by driven, independent women all my life.
My great grandmother Rooke who worked as a proud public servant for decades at the Australian Taxation Office in the Perth CBD.
My grandma Pat, a working single mum who lived on Walcott Street just meters from where Jess and I now raise our son Leo.
My grandmother Joan who for more than 50 years has run one of WA’s most successful family-owned farm supplies businesses.
As a chronic asthmatic child my parents broke most parts of the traffic code at one time or another rushing me to Fremantle Hospital.
I am here because of Medicare and our public health system.
I benefited immeasurably from a world-class education at Lance Holt School, Melville Senior High School, Curtin University and the UWA and am indebted to Australia’s teachers.
That education drove me to have a career dedicated to delivering fairness.
Political parties are an essential and precious part of our democracy.
\But right now, our party system, this parliament and our executive government are being weakened.
Diminished by populism, racism and a strong sense that our institutions are no longer effective.
Too often the Australian people look to this parliament and see the worst reflection of our society. It shouldn’t be this way.
I hope, one day, people will again look here and see role models.
The Australia I love would be nothing without Perth.
Perth is the heart and the brain of WA.
Perth is Boorloo on the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan and home to Aboriginal leaders past, present and emerging.
Perth is home to businesses tiny and global. Home to mighty trade unions new and old.
Perth is Australia’s beacon to the Indian Ocean economies and the GMT +8-time zone.
Perth welcomes new Australians and has a proud migrant history.
Perth is a city full of ambitious and entrepreneurial people.
Western Australians have a sense of fairness that helps us grow our national economy and create the opportunities of the future.
It was these values that saw WA’s Carmen Lawrence become the first female premier of any state in Australia.
Western Australians are recognised for grasping opportunity and turning it into something bigger.
We need to be equally ambitious in our approach to economic infrastructure.
As a modern city we must plan across local, state and federal government for a metropolitan light rail connecting our CBD to the Burswood peninsula, Kings Park and the great universities of our inner metropolitan area.
As an entrepreneurial city we should commence a visionary redevelopment of East Perth Power Station.
This building should be full of art, culture or history – not sadly decaying on the banks of the Swan River.
And urgency should be applied to lay the track of the Perth – Morley – Ellenbrook Metronet rail line as soon as possible. We must fast track the train.
To achieve my ambitions for WA we need stable policy when it comes to resources, energy, agriculture and a regulatory environment that encourages new businesses.
An environment that ensures our tax system is fair and seen to be fair – the most urgent being delivering a fair share of the GST to WA.
Every Western Australian is sick of debating the GST just as I am sick of seeing the money that could fix such injustices go offshore through tax avoidance. WA is one of the most diverse and beautiful places on earth yet lacks a built world-class family tourist destination.
If WA is serious about international tourism then we have to seek investment for, or make the investment ourselves, in new major tourist attractions.
WA has the time zone, location, climate, space and skills to host international theme parks with a uniquely Australian flavour.