Welcome to Parramatta.
Home of the mighty Eels, and as of last night the leaders of the A League the mighty Western Sydney Wanderers.
Western Sydney is the home of a lot of greats.
It’s the home of a boy from Green Valley who 20 years ago played cricket for Woodlands. Last night he lead the Australian team onto the field in Hyderabad. His name is Michael Clarke.
Ian Thorpe grew up in Milperra and learnt to swim at Padstow before he conquered the swimming world.
Harry Kewell – grew up Smithfield – right across the road from Chris Bowen.
Almost half of the Australian Socceroos were born and raised here.
Toni Collette made the trek to Hollywood from Blacktown.
Betty Cuthbert grew up in Merrylands.
Two of the boys from ACDC grew up in Villawood.
Ben Quilty from Kenthurst.
Anh Do from Yagoona.
The Waugh brothers from Panania.
And a boy from Bankstown called Paul Keating.
Western Sydney is so great – Gough Whitlam moved from Melbourne just to have the honour of representing us in Werriwa.
He lived in Albert Street in Cabramatta – just around the corner from where I grew up.
Great names. Great success stories. But what really makes Western Sydney great, are not these stories, as precious as they are. It’s the stories of 1.9 million people, of hard work, success and dreams and aspiration.
And people like me have the greatest job of all – the privilege and responsibility to represent the people of Western Sydney, and help some of these dreams become reality.
When Julia Gillard became Prime Minister she talked about people:
“…..who day in and day out work in our factories, in our classrooms and in our hospitals, that play by the rules, set their alarms early, get their kids off to school, stand by their neighbours and love their country.”
The Prime Minister of Australia was talking about us.
Remember the Prime Minister is the person who crafted the laws that got rid of Work Choices and that has had a bigger impact here than almost anywhere else in the country.
The changes to superannuation mean that hundreds of thousands of people in Western Sydney have thousands more when they retire.
The new Dental Health reform, means from next year more than 150,000 children in Western Sydney will get access to dental care just as they currently get access to Medicare.
And the National Disability Insurance Scheme, that will change the lives of tens of thousands of Western Sydney people, and many more across Australia.
Big reform, big changes, that are changing people’s lives. And that are happening because of a Labor Government and because of this Prime Minister.
Paul Keating said education is the key to the kingdom. He’s right and the Prime Minister is making these keys.
Just think about this for a moment – in the last few years there has been a 19 per cent jump in the number of people right across Australia from disadvantaged backgrounds now going to university.
That’s because of this Prime Minister. Changing lives. And there’s more to come.
These are the achievements of a Labor Leader – of a Labor Prime Minister.
A Labor Prime Minister made of the same stuff that Western Sydney is made of –courage, toughness, hard work and determination, dreams and aspirations
Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome our Prime Minister – the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard.