Northern Beaches Liberals came together yesterday to launch their election campaign for Mackellar.

Member for Mackellar Jason Falinski MP kicked off his campaign for re-election yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 01 May) at Cromer Golf Club, with the support of fellow parliamentarians and over 200 hundred Liberal Party members and supporters.

Among those present were Member for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes, Member for Manly and NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin, Member for Wakehurst and NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, NSW Senator Andrew Bragg, Federal Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Senator Jane Hume, and Northern Beaches Councillors Georgia Ryburn, Bianca Crvelin and Rory Amon.

Senator Jane Hume

Coming from Victoria to support Mr Falinski, Senator Jane Hume (image above) said she valued Mr Falinski’s intellect and took a swipe at his Independent challenger.

“Not only does he have a brain the size of a planet, not only is he one of the hardest workers in Parliament, he has delivered so many parliamentary reports into things that are really important. The one that I’ve been looking at recently has been on housing affordability, which is so fundamental.

“The thing I like most about him is he argues with me all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever put a policy out there that Jason hasn’t shot down in a heartbeat, built back up again, reframed it and moved forward.

“Why is that important? That’s why you join a political party. You join a political party because your personal ideas are not always the best ones. Your personal ideas need to be tested, they need to be pushed, they need to be stretched, they need to be argued out. That’s what the party room does. That’s what a political party does.

“That’s why you don’t want an Independent. Because somehow, Independents seem to think that their ideas are the only ideas, their ideas are the best ideas. They’re not tested, they’re not stretched, they’re not pushed. They don’t have somebody in a party room arguing with them, shooting them down and building them back up again.

“The Independents can’t deliver that. They have the hubris to think that they know best. A political party is the filter for the best ideas and Jason Falinski is one of the best filters that there is. I am really looking forward to working with him in the next term of Parliament. There is nobody that works harder,” said Senator Hume.

Jason Falinski

Addressing the gathered crowd, Mr Falinski thanked so many people for turning up, joking that he had expected some to attend a rock concert held by Independent challenger Dr Sophie Scamps at the same time as the Liberal campaign launch.

“I know many of you would prefer to be listening to Lime Cordiale, but I’m glad that you see me as alternative entertainment. We are here today because we face a choice at this election. It is a choice between freedom and more government control. We’ve seen this story played out many times. This one is using more money, new packaging and different tactics, but it’s the same policy with the same results.

“We believe firmly our rights belong to us, because they were imbued to us from the very beginning. Big government means disempowered individuals, societies and communities. Empowered citizens means empowered communities, and means that you only need small governments.

“We don’t need a poll to know this. Many of us in this room have seen it, we’ve lived it, we’ve felt it, and therefore we know it. We’ve seen it with people who came here from authoritarian and oppressive regimes. They knew that to survive, you had to pretend that a lie was true. They wanted to live in a society where you could believe in the truth and live by the truth,” said Mr Falinski.

Liberal Party supporters at Mackellar campaign launch

“We talk about the importance of net zero, not just because it reduces carbon emissions, but because it provides future economic opportunities. It reduces the threats that we face from national security, meaning we will have to rely less on overseas oil and gas because our vehicles will run on electricity and hydrogen.

“These are the things that make a difference. Whereas our opponents, when Zali Steggall talks about protecting and conserving the environment, her campaign took a $100k donation from a coal mine that used to be owned by Eddie Obeid. When she talks about integrity, her campaign then hid that money. Gladys Berejiklian stood down as Premier because she was having a consensual relationship that she did not disclose.

“Sophie Scamps won’t tell us where all the money’s coming from. She won’t tell us what deal that she’s had to do to get it. She won’t even tell us who she will support to be Prime Minister in the next parliament.

“They talk about protecting women and creating safe workplaces, but no one on my campaign has been charged with assault. A campaign worker for Sophie Scamps turned up to a Katherine Deves campaign event and has been charged by the police with assault.

“At the last election, one of Zali Steggall’s campaign workers stabbed a Liberal volunteer with a corkscrew and was charged and convicted with two counts of assault. Is this what integrity will mean in the future?

“We have three weeks to go in this campaign. If you will help be my voice in the next three weeks, I will be your voice for the next three years in Canberra,” said Mr Falinski to applause from the crowd.

The violent incident referred to by Mr Falinski occurred at Forestville RSL Club on Friday, 22 April, when a man, who had claimed to be a ‘campaign worker’ to various people at the event, reportedly ‘lunged’ towards Ms Deves and became involved in a scuffle with two of her companions who intercepted him.

NSW Police have charged the man with assault and he is summonsed to appear at Manly Local Court on 25 May. Dr Scamps refused to comment on the man’s connection to her campaign at the time, but it is understood his status as a volunteer with the campaign was terminated as a result of a breach of the campaign’s code of conduct.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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