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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech MAIDEN SPEECH Governor-General’s Speech Monday, 2 December 2013 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (17:12): Madam Speaker, Australians know who I am and where I come from. They know I love my family and that I love Australia. In 1918 my father, at the age of nine, went to see a silent movie. By the time he was 14 he was producing and starring in his own movies. He went on to become the world’s youngest movie producer—as he was known in Hollywood, at the time, in the United States. He returned to Australia to establish radio station 3AK in Melbourne and radio 7UV in Tasmania. Prime Minister Lyons, of the United Australia Party, opened radio 3AK—and I still have the recording. My mother was born in Penguin, Tasmania, and left in 1940 to work in ammunition production in Melbourne. Family members have served this nation in the first and second world wars, some giving their lives for Australian freedom. My nephew, Squadron Leader Martin Brewster, served with INTERFET in Timor, and all of them have done for Australia more than I could ever do. Like half of all Australians, I lost my first partner, Sue. Her love and our children, Michael and Emily, sustain me every day. My wife, Anna, and my lovely five-year-old daughter—or middle five, as she says, daughter—Mary, remind me every day of what life is all about: love for each other, and the love we will have for each other in the future. I look forward to the coming weeks, when I will again become a father, and I have a strong resolve to serve our nation and a strong resolve not to let the people of Fairfax down. Fairfax has been taken for granted for many years. My election is a reminder to the major parties that they must truly serve all Australians. As has been said, let us not seek the Liberal answer or the Labor answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix blame for the past but let us accept our own responsibility for the future. We meet today in a city which itself has reconciled our people at difficult times in the nation’s history—a city that in this last century has been witness to the trials and tribulations of our people—at a time when the nation lacks direction and needs to set sail on a new course. How long can parliament remain indifferent to the needs of all Australians? How long can government be deaf to the everyday struggles of all Australians? They must be on top of the national agenda. On this small speck in the universe, planet Earth, we must do all that we can to help each other. Our main concern needs to rest with how we can grow and expand our economy and create more wealth—not wealth for the wealthy but for all, even the least among us. As a wise man once said many years ago, injustice to a man anywhere is an injustice to all men everywhere. We live today in a nation where the roads are no longer safe, where ambulances remove the carnage from our highways, where the infant mortality rate of our Indigenous people is twice that of the Australian community, where the life expectancy of many of our poorer and downtrodden citizens is less than it should be, where health services are declining, where our elderly and veterans are forgotten, where the tyranny of distance separates the hopes and the aspirations of remote Australia, and where the despair of the homeless and unemployed robs the nation of the productivity of our citizens. Tasmanians, I found out during our election campaign, feel abandoned by mainland Australia. The ghosts of the Anzacs call us to action. To stimulate our economic activity, we must ignite the creativity of all our citizens. Chairman Mao said a long time ago that women hold up half the sky, yet women received their vote in 1902 but prejudice still remains. 70 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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