Three new Senators have highlighted the importance of their values in their first speeches to the Senate in the past week.
Family First Senator for South Australia Bob Day delivered his first speech on Wednesday night. His focus was the importance of jobs and houses, and specifically the barriers preventing people from getting a job and owning their own home.
Senator Day caused a stir by calling for an end to the compulsory minimum wage. He said the time has come to allow young people to opt out of the “compulsory workplace regulation” system and work at rates and conditions that suit them and their employers.
He argued this would bring thousands of young people into employment while saving the government millions of dollars in welfare and reducing social ills.
He also highlighted the serious difficulty facing most new home buyers, a problem that has increased in the last 15 years. Senator Day pointed to the greed of land developers and state governments, as well as the proliferation of government regulation, as the two main factors affecting housing affordability.
The Senator ended by highlighting “strong families and strong values” at the core of his political ideology.
Two new Labor Senators also emphasised the importance of family in their first speeches.
Queensland’s Chris Ketter said:
The family is the basic building block in our society, and there is research to suggest that well-function families yield not only a productivity benefit to the economy but also social benefits, such as reduced rates of crime and drug dependency.
Joe Bullock from Western Australia also extolled family, and made clear his Christian commitment:
I believe that the family based on marriage is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.
I believe in Jesus Christ and the right of people of religious conviction to express their views in the public square.
See Senator Joe Bullock’s first speech here
See Senator Chris Ketter’s first speech here
See Senator Bob Day’s first speech here
, and listen to his interview with ACL’s Katherine Spackman just after his election here