Election Night Speech
National Press Club, 21 August 2010
I acknowledge the Indigenous people, on whose lands we meet today.
Friends, family, members of the campaign team, ladies and gentlemen.
We don't yet know the final results of this election.
What we do know now is that the people of the great seat of Fraser have spoken. And can I say how humbled I am by their decision.
As honours go, they don't come any bigger than the chance to represent your friends and neighbours in the Australian Parliament, and I thank you all very much for that incredible privilege.
I acknowledge also the other candidates in Fraser, and the other Labor candidates standing tonight in the ACT: Gai Brodtmann, Kate Lundy, and David Mathews.
There's been a lot of talk this campaign about Fraser being a so-called 'safe Labor seat'. The people of Fraser have never voted Labor out of habit. They voted Labor because they believed in what we stand for and because they loved Bob McMullan. They loved him for being a superb local member, and they loved him because they were proud to have, on their home turf, a true statesman, who embodied every day the best of what politics can be. In ways we may not ever fully realise, over 40 years in the Labor Movement and in Government, Bob has touched the lives of everyone here. We will miss him, but we will never forget him.
None of that explains why anyone voted for me, of course...
Still, let me thank those who worked with me on this campaign, and gave up vast amounts of their time for a cause greater than any of us.
We'd be here all night if I mentioned everyone who's given up time to help me, but I do want to mention those who managed major parts of the campaign: Lyndell Tutty, Alicia Payne, Roseanne Toohey, Mick Gentleman, Michael Morgan, Rick Kalowski, Jeff House, Gabrielle Blair, Elias Hallaj, Adina Cirson, Barbara Phi and my campaign manager Dan Ashcroft.
Thank you, equally, everyone who put their lives aside to volunteer for me. Together, we letterboxed tens of thousands of homes, knocked on 5400 doors, rang thousands of voters, held over a hundred street stalls, and were even attacked by a magpie. I'm already on to the Electoral Commission about that, by the way. I know a Liberal Party trick when I see one.
Finally, thank you to my family who I love so much: my wife Gweneth, my sons Theodore and Sebastian, my brother Tim, and my parents Barbara and Michael.
I hope everyone who helped out in Fraser can join me for a sausage sizzle tomorrow, at John Knight Park in Belconnen, from 11am-1pm.
As I said, we don't yet know the result nationally, so I hope you'll pray with me for the return of the Government and of Julia Gillard as our first elected female Prime Minister.
But at this stage, I'm quietly confident that things will go the right way, and that Labor will be returned. Assuming that happens, I hope everyone here will take a moment to think about what your work and your votes really mean. Because of you, and what you've done tonight, children will have better schools. Because of you, people outside the big cities will have access to health services previously unknown in their lifetime, services many of them would die without. Because of you, some of the world's poorest asylum seekers will be treated humanely according to international law, when they set out with a dream every Australian should understand, because it's the same dream they or their forebears had in coming to this great country: the dream of starting again. That's what this election means.
In the meantime, thank you all very much again, I'll do my best to serve you and make you proud, and have a great night.