First speeches for senators

Newly appointed senators Steve Martin and Kristina Keneally have given their first speeches.

Apr 6, 2018

In his first speech to the Senate, newly appointed Senator Steve Martin likened himself to Steven Bradbury, saying, ‘there is a hidden moral in Bradbury's unlikely success story about being positive, having a dream, backing yourself against the odds and giving things a red-hot go.’ Senator Martin spoke about his positive outlook for Tasmania, while not ignoring some of the state’s challenges: biosecurity, trade, and education. Senator Martin quoted economist Douglas Copland, who said education is ‘the most profitable investment a community can make.’ Another issue he highlighted was the lack of Tasmanian representation in the both the men’s and women’s competitions of the AFL (Australian Football League). In closing, Senator Martin quoted children’s author Dr Seuss, ‘It's not about what it is; it's about what it can become.’

Senator Kristina Keneally also made her first speech, telling the chamber that although she had not expected to come back to politics, she was proud to be in the Senate, representing the people of New South Wales. She highlighted inequality, a national integrity commission, and clean energy as priorities for her service in the Senate. She particularly focused on inequality, saying, ‘A society is only healthy when its most vulnerable members are supported, protected and included. Fairness doesn't trickle down.’ She also spoke of the tragedy of stillbirths, and her work with Stillbirth Foundation Australia. She thanked the Senate for voting to hold a select committee inquiry into the issue. Senator Keneally ended her speech by saying, ‘No matter what else I might do on this earth, being Daniel and Brendan's mother is the best role I'll ever have. For them, and for all young people in Australia, I want to help build a stronger, fairer and more generous nation. And now that this first speech is done, it's time to get on with that task.’