When I was elected to the Senate in 2013 I was set to take my place in Australia’s political history for six years. As of this afternoon it is finally clear and official that my six year term was reduced to two.
I have been asked many times whether I regret allowing the Government to have a double dissolution trigger. The answer is simple, no I don’t.
I can leave parliament proud knowing that I gave it my best shot against the odds and did not fall victim to the two party political games. There is a large portion of society who are sick of the mainstream political establishment and class. Those results were clear in 2013 and despite the Government’s best attempt to remove the representatives who were elected to represent those people, the 2016 results have also show the same. I am proud that I did my best in my time to represent those people.
I am honoured that the people of Victoria gave the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and I that opportunity back in 2013 and cannot thank all those who were involved in those early days, including right through my time in politics, enough.
It has been a roller coaster ride one could never forget and one I will never regret.
Despite many achievements in varying areas of politics and trying hard to achieve in others, my proudest achievement is to hear people in the street say “you gave me hope” or “you influenced me to try”. There is nothing more heart-warming to hear these expressions and to realise that I am receiving them for simply being myself. If my legacy was to motivate people into having a go at whatever it is that they want to achieve, no matter whether people say they don’t belong or have no chance, then I could achieve nothing more for the rest of my life and feel that my job is complete.
No matter who you are, what your background is, what you socio economic status is, what your, age, sex, education or the geographical location you reside in is, you are entitled to a voice. Using my own case as an example, you just never know what the outcome may be, just don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!
It was my passion for the automotive scene which drove me to politics. This would have not been possible without the founding members of the AMEP trying to find a way to ensure that their voice was heard. Despite the bumpy, unfamiliar road ahead I would like to thank the AMEP for their dedication and focus to keep moving forward no matter what the political world threw at us. It takes a great deal of strength to roll with the punches and all involved should be immensely proud of their efforts.
I would like thank the many people who offered to, and did, assist with my election campaign. I was a humbling feeling to see how far things had come since 2013. To see how so many people from all sides of politics were content to offer me assistance, regardless of the fact that I have no home on the left or right of the political spectrum, was sobering.
For me to be the representative that I was, it would have not been possible without the right assistance. My staff (including wife who selflessly volunteered her time), like all political staff, are regularly the unsung heroes behind the scenes who get the research and work done when needed. The long hours, time away from home and stress are not just isolated to the parliamentarian. From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank my staff enough for their commitment and diligence to get the job done, and to do it well, no matter the pressure we were under.
On the 7th of September 2013 the lives of my wife and children were turned upside down. The journey has been intense and emotional, but they have remained by my side no matter what was thrown at us. Now it is time to return that favour and to spend some quality time, without the political noise consuming my thoughts, with them. I cannot wait!
It has been an honour to serve the people of Australia!
In closing; to everybody who offered me support, encouragement or assistance along my journey, I sincerely thank you.
I do not feel that this is the end of my time in politics. One way or another I’ll be back!