I rise to speak about the Victorian state election last Saturday and in particular how it relates to the state electorates contained within the federal electorate of Scullin. Four years ago, the Baillieu government was elected, promising to fix the problems. Clearly, this was a promise which resonated with the Victorian community, concerned about significant quality-of-life issues, particularly in the growth areas which represent much of the electorate of Scullin.
But, after that, we saw a state government characterised by inertia and a state government which said one thing before an election and did very different things after it—a familiar concept to those of us in this place.We also saw the impact of very significant cuts at a state level leading to a range of very serious social consequences, including very high youth unemployment. These have been compounded in the communities I represent by the policies of this federal government—in particular, the refusal to fund urban public transport and a cruel budget opposed by Victorians, particularly those within Scullin, who looked for and found in the Labor Party led by Daniel Andrews a government which will put people first.
I rise to acknowledge the contribution the five Labor candidates and members made in ensuring that Scullin will be adequately represented in this state Labor government. Firstly, Vicki Ward, the new member for Eltham, ran an extraordinary campaign, ably assisted by a fantastic young woman in the form of Clare Keys Lilley. Danielle Green, the member for Yan Yean, was returned despite an enormous investment made by the Liberal Party, including visits from former Prime Minister John Howard—I note the current Prime Minister did not participate in this campaign significantly. My friend Colin Brooks, the member for Bundoora, was comfortably returned. It was very pleasing to see a large swing to Bronwyn Halfpenny, the member for Thomastown, which has significant growth areas and desperately requires infrastructure support it has not been getting. My great friend and former boss Lily D'Ambrosio, the member for Mill Park, was also returned with a very significant swing.
I look forward to working with all my Labor colleagues. I am so pleased to see Scullin completely represented by Labor members. I am looking forward to seeing the Mernda rail, the O'Herns Road interchange and improvements to buses, schools and our local health services.
I also take this opportunity to give my thanks to the members of the Scullin Labor Party. It is an absolute privilege to work with and for you all. I think, together with our five state Labor members, we can do great things for Melbourne's north under an Andrews Labor government. We look forward to seeing more positive developments in the federal arena: a government that cares about outer suburban communities.