Dr Anthony Lynham, pictured with opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, has vowed to fight street violence. Photo: Michelle SmithLabor’s newest Queensland parliamentarian has delivered his maiden speech to parliament, stressing his commitment to lowering violence rates across the state and raising the level of debate within George Street’s most powerful chamber.
Anthony Lynham, who won the Stafford by-election in a landslide last month following then LNP MP Chris Davis’s resignation, took to his feet to give his first speech in the Queensland parliament on Thursday morning.
Telling the parliament he had “come to this place by way of a career”, Dr Lynham said he “cherished being part of the surgical and trauma team at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital”.
But he said it was time to do more.
“I have been appalled and angered by the feeble and ineffective response by the current LNP government to sensible violence prevention measures,” he said.
“It is easy to watch the nightclub brawls on the TV news and think you know the answer but my team and I were the ones that has to pick up the pieces on a weekly basis.
“As a surgeon I could only keep operating on more and more distressing cases. As an elected representative of the people of Stafford, I aim to do more. Alongside others I will be working hard to bring common sense to the debate, to provide solutions as to how we can prevent these attacks.”
Dedicating the next step of his career to his “beautiful grandson” Darcy “to ensure that he in his life, along with all other children, will have access to affordable, high quality education”, Dr Lynham also sought to address what he called the falling standards of behaviour within parliament.
“However good the intentions of MPs in this house, I am concerned, very concerned, that our parliament is losing the trust and respect of the people of Queensland,” he said.
“Respect, the due regard for the rights, wishes and feelings of others is sadly seen as being lost in today’s society.
“How can we members of parliament gain the respect of the people we serve and represent if our behaviour inside and outside of this house is such that it would not be tolerated in our communities.
“Tony Fitzgerald, the man that brought integrity and accountability back to Queensland after the rampant corruption of the Bjelke-Petersen years, has made strong comments regarding poor parliamentary behaviour.
“My immediate predecessor, Dr Chris Davis, paid the ultimate political price by speaking out against the lack of accountability and changes to electoral funding laws. He too was subjected to appalling behaviour by his colleagues who should have been supporting him.
“How can we expect the general public to show respect to each other when members of parliaments, the highest representative bodies in the land, show such little respect to their fellow parliamentarians or to the general public. If we are to bring greater respect back into our community, we must start here with our behaviour both in and outside parliament.”
Dr Lynham’s election brings the opposition’s parliamentary team to nine.
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