Speeches

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:10): Yesterday the Casey Electorate paid tribute to a local Anzac, JD Burns, who had grown up the Lilydale electorate. He joined up in February 1915, arrived in Gallipoli in September 1915 and was tragically killed a few weeks later. His father was the local Presbyterian minister. He had attended Scotch College and excelled. He wrote a poem about the cause of the First World War and what it entailed, calledFor England, that became world-renowned. His death at the time was a huge blow to the local Lilydale community. With the assistance of a Centenary of Anzac grant, a plaque was unveiled at the Lilydale cenotaph yesterday afternoon. On behalf of the local Centenary of Anzac committee that I have worked so closely with, I pay tribute to them and to the local historical groups who helped bring this about.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (11:28): I join in speaking on the Australian War Memorial Amendment Bill 2014 and supporting the very important measures in it to ensure that there are no parking fees at the War Memorial. I want to very briefly associate myself with the remarks of members on this side who have spoken on this bill. The War Memorial is one of Australia's foremost institutions. It has the names of 102,000 Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice. My friend and colleague the minister and I have spoken about this in the centenary of Anzac. The memorial bears the names that are on all the cenotaphs in all the local towns in my electorate down in the Yarra Valley, and in the towns of the minister's electorate in Queensland. Over these four years it is going to be a focus like never before, with school groups going to the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:41): Last Sunday was a very special day for the Italian community in my electorate of Casey. The Yarra Valley Italian Cultural Group organised an event to both commemorate and celebrate some history. They met with large numbers from the community at the Lilydale cemetery, where they had a service and unveiled plaques for four Italians who had come to the Yarra Valley many decades ago and tragically died working in the Yarra Valley. They included workers who had worked on the Silvan Dam in the 1920s. In doing so, they also wanted to celebrate the contribution of the Italian community to the Yarra Valley over all the decades. It is well known that many Italians came to the Yarra Valley, as they did to other parts of Australia, in the postwar years. They wanted to tell that story, but also the story that is not…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:01): On behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, I present the committee's second interim report on the inquiry into the conduct of the 2013 federal election and assessment of electronic voting options. In accordance with standing order 39(e) the report was made a parliamentary paper. Mr TONY SMITH: by leaveā€”Our voting system has changed and evolved over the 113 years since the first federal election in March 1901. But one thing has remained a constant from the election of the first parliament to that of the 44th last September. We still vote with a pencil on a paper ballot that is then manually counted. In recent decades some democracies have moved to a form of electronic voting. The USA has electronic voting machines in many states and Estonia offers electronic voting over the internet. While one system requires you to still visit a…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:31): On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting with a large number of Coldstream residents in my electorate of Casey at the Margaret Lewis Reserve, where there was the opening of a gazebo in the centre of the reserve that had been funded by the local council. When Margaret Lewis died back in 1981, she bequeathed 15 hectares of bushland to the people of Coldstream. It is now a reserve maintained by the Friends of Margaret Lewis Reserve, who have been caring for and nurturing that community asset in Coldstream for the best part of 30 years. In the past they have had small equipment grants from this side of the House and, as I mentioned, a grant from the council, but mostly they have done it themselves. They are a dedicated group of volunteers, led by the irrepressible Morris Maxwell. They have constructed walking…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:59): Like many members in this House, I was pleased to participate in McHappy Day last Saturday at the Lilydale restaurant in my electorate of Casey. Lilydale McDonald's has been a big supporter of McHappy Day and last year raised the second highest of any store in Victoria. This year's McHappy Day was run by Riley Walsh and the dedicated team. I pay tribute to them on raising nearly $10,000.
Page 6 of 17