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25 May 2022

Political history was made on Saturday night.

For once the election could not be resolved until the west voted.

Without Western Australia, Labor would not be in the strong position to form the government that it is Australia has voted for change and Labor's Anthony Albanese is Australia's 31st Prime Minister.

The extraordinary election result saw Australia's political landscape changed.

The Liberals were decimated in WA and Victoria, particularly in Melbourne and Perth where the party was practically wiped out.

Anthony Albanese visited WA many times across the campaign, including holding the election launch in Perth.

His work alongside Perth incumbents like Pat Gorman, Anne Aly and Madeleine King helped secure Labor's victory.

Labor also captured four long-held Liberal WA seats in Pearce, Swan, Hasluck and Tangney.

One of my favourite election stories is of Labor winner in the WA seat of Tangney Sam Lim, a former monk, dolphin trainer and WA Police officer beating former Liberal minister Ben Morton. Gold.

Also operating in Labor's favour was the great approval WA voters have for Premier Mark McGowan.

In my hometown, we saw historically Liberal seats in the leafy eastern suburbs fall to the new teal candidates, with the seats of Higgins, Goldstein and Kooyong all turning from blue.

This saw the end of former treasurer Josh Frydenberg's career and, ultimately, Scott Morrison's.

The fact the Liberals also refused to take the teal candidates seriously, all women, backfired spectacularly.

Female voters took their opposition to the way the former government did business with them to the polls.

It was time for a change.

The victory importantly gives Prime Minister Albanese a mandate to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which will enshrine an Indigenous voice into the Australian Constitution.

This election has also seen the largest number of First Nations women elected to the Australian Parliament, with Labor's new Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Linda Burney, being sworn this week.

The previously mentioned Sam Lim is also one of a large multicultural contingent of candidates who have swept into power.

Labor has Australia's approval to address climate change, the aged crisis, wages and cost-of-living pressures, and to fix the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

For me, Anthony Albanese's win was a weight off my shoulders.

I felt relief for the people I will represent, my local Maribyrnong constituents and the 4.4 million Australians with disability.

In 2019, I couldn't have predicted how disappointing Morrison would be.

I didn't agree with his policies, but now I have some comfort for people who I will hopefully represent, people with disabilities on the NDIS.

Because I was extremely concerned that if the Morrison Government snuck back into power, the scheme would be trashed.

When it came to the NDIS and the half million people on the scheme, and their families and the people who love them, the Morrison Government was a disaster.

In the event I am Minister for the NDIS, I would address COVID preparedness.

We need to keep people alive and make sure they have the support they need as we head into winter.

A close second would be finding out what is going on with the 5000 NDIS matters currently blocking the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Finally, Labor's win gave us approval to hold a royal commission into the robodebt disaster.

As shadow minister for government affairs, I oversaw Labor's commitment to get justice for the 500,000 Australians who were unlawfully sued by their own government for money they did not owe.

A royal commission won't change the outcome for the Australians who were illegally threatened by their own government.

But it will provide justice to the victims, answer unanswered questions, and hold those responsible to account for hunting Australians down with the sole purpose for reaching a surplus that never came.

I am immensely proud of Labor's win. Australia needed a change and we watched our beautiful democracy in action to deliver it at the polls.

I believe Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will lead in the national interest and I will be honoured to serve.

Australia needed a change and we watched our beautiful democracy in action to deliver it at the polls.


This piece was first published in the West Australian on Wednesday, 25 May 2022