Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:28): On behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters I present the committee's report, incorporating dissenting reports, together with a corrigendum to the report on the conduct of the 2013 federal election and matters related there to. Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e). Mr TONY SMITH: by leave—The loss of 1,370 Senate votes in Western Australia at the 2013 federal election was the greatest failure in the history of the Australian Electoral Commission. It was caused by multiple failures at multiple levels within the AEC. The consequences included the necessity for a re-run election at a cost of over $21 million and unprecedented damage to the reputation of and confidence in the Electoral Commission.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:07): I ask leave of the House to make a statement on behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on electoral matters updating the House on two new inquiries the committee will be launching, relating to electoral education and campaigning at polling places. Leave granted. Mr TONY SMITH: I would like to update the House on the current work of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. As members would be aware, the committee has tabled reports into Senate voting practices, electronic voting options and, on budget day, the final report into the 2013 federal election.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:56): Last Friday I visited Kirkbrae Homes in Kilsyth in the heart of the Casey electorate. Kirkbrae Homes is part of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. It is an aged-care facility that began some 55 years ago on Mount Dandenong Road just at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges. It provides contemporary living for many local older people with a range of care needs from independent retired residents to those in need of higher care. There are currently 200 people residing at Kirkbrae. Last Friday I was able to be there with some of the leadership to turn to the sod on a new development that will see an upgrade and expansion that will become home to 80 more residents.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:01): I was about to say— Mr Champion interjecting— Mr TONY SMITH: It sounds like the member opposite has not finished his contribution. Mr Champion interjecting— The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Whiteley ): Order! Mr TONY SMITH: I know the member opposite gets very excited. I was about to say to the member opposite that, in debating terms, it is always good to follow him, but then I realised that it is so rare that he is here after question time on a Thursday. But it is very interesting that the conduct of this debate has once again displayed the hypocrisy of those opposite. It is very interesting who is here and who is not, and I will tell you why. We have obviously seen this week what those opposite really think of each other, courtesy of the ABC.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:50): Well, it is budget day and, like budget day last year, we have just seen another insubstantial performance from those opposite. The Leader of the Opposition proposed his matter of public importance on the standard of living and barely mentioned it. The member for Canberra did talk about the subject briefly. But then particularly the last speaker, like all their members, did not address the topic of their own matter of public importance. Instead he came in here to practise his lines in some sort of vain competition with those behind him.
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (13:34): On Monday, 4 May I was pleased to visit Ormond College at the University of Melbourne to meet a number of dedicated students as part of the college's Pitch Project. The Pitch Project enables teams of Ormond students to pitch a policy proposal to federal or state members of parliament. This group of students worked over many weeks on a pilot program to assist people to start up a small business. It was focused on young people. They focused on an area of my electorate, the Upper Yarra Valley.
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