Nov 17, 2016

Labor and Liberal politicians together at Birchgrove Primary School

In a welcome outbreak of political bipartisanship the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tony Smith, will join me today in visiting Birchgrove Primary School in my electorate of Grayndler to help encourage democratic participation amongst young students.

At a time of hyper-partisanship overseas and often vitriolic political debate in Australia and abroad, it is vital for politicians to put aside their differences and work together in the national interest.

This is the second time this year that the Speaker has joined me at Birchgrove Public for discussion with Year 5 and 6 students about how our Parliament and government works.

We were both so energised by the first event that we wanted to follow up Mr Smith‘s earlier visit, particularly given that the students have travelled to Canberra and visited Parliament House since that visit.

For the Speaker of the House to travel twice from his home state of Melbourne to help make sure our local students have the skills and knowledge to become active citizens is a testament to the dignity and seriousness with which he carries out his role.

I’m pleased Mr Smith is making this effort. The community is crying out for politicians to work together.

It is important that we don’t just talk about working together, but get out into the community to lead by example.

Parliament House in Canberra is the most visited destination by school groups across Australia.

But it is indeed far too rare for students to receive a visit from Labor and Liberal politicians at the same time.