I pay tribute to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
I was enormously proud of Julia Gillard as she spoke after last night’s caucus ballot. It reflected the courage and determination she has always shown.
As a proud Labor feminist it has been an enormous honour for me to serve in the Labor Caucus with Australia's first woman Prime Minister. Julia Gillard has delivered reform that is true to the very best of Labor values. These include;
- bringing greater equity to our education system;
- action on climate change;
- a national disability insurance scheme.
Julia Gillard's record will leave lasting benefits to the people of our nation. Her skills as a leader and negotiator have secured these and many other important reforms through a minority parliament.
This has been achieved in the face of relentless negativity and sexism coming from the Coalition. I agree with retiring cross bench MP Rob Oakshott when during his valedictory he congratulated Julia Gillard for being true to the terms of the agreement they made in 2010 and said to her “your Father would be proud.”
Julia Gillard's legacy is one we must defend and build on.
A legacy I am looking forward to extending and campaigning on at the forthcoming election with Prime Minister Rudd.
A legacy that we can win on in Western Australia – including in Perth as Stephen Smith, a great Labor figure, steps down, bringing forward an opportunity for a new Labor voice for Western Australia.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke last night and paid tribute to Julia Gillard and reminded the Parliament today of what Labor has achieved, with the creation of nearly a million jobs, the NBN, action on climate change, disability care, and improvement to housing, schools, equity in education and much more.
Meanwhile, today in the Senate I saw the Liberals refuse Australian citizens and permanent residents the right to an Australian job before temporary foreign workers. Today they also continued with their shallow slogans and relentless negatively and continued to prove themselves completely unable to put forward a positive plan for our great nation.
This is the last sitting week before the election and we are passing through the Parliament important Labor legislation. Legislation in support of jobs and education. Legislation to stop discrimination and ensure fairness in our workplaces.
I now have my mind firmly set on getting home to WA for this crucial election campaign and, in the words of our new Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, “fight some Tories!”