Justine takes place in Parliament
BRAND new Richmond MP Justine Elliot was yesterday sworn into the 41st parliament of Australia, full of excitement for her first term as a federal politician.
The only Labor MP to defeat a minister, Ms Elliot stuck with her fellow new MPs for the official opening of parliament and the Governor-General's address.
"I don't know if I would say that it is like school, but we have stuck together - I think that tends to happen anywhere," Ms Elliot said.
With a nail-biting victory behind her, Ms Elliot said she was happy that her duties had finally been made official and was eager to get down to business.
"It was wonderful to be officially sworn in. I am really excited about the great challenges that lay ahead and am honoured to be the Member for Richmond," she said.
"During the morning there was the real realisation of being in parliament and of the role I can play in advocating issues and being part of the process."
Ms Elliot's maiden speech to parliament will be on December 2, a date she is fast preparing for.
"I have thought about it. I really want to talk about issues in the electorate such as health, the environment, education and employment," she said.
"I am really looking forward to that and then being able to get involved."
Meanwhile, Ms Elliot has taken over former Richmond MP Larry Anthony's Minjungbal Drive office and is in the process of appointing staff.
"Since the poll was declared we have had a lot of enquiries, and taking over the old office makes answering those easier," she said.
Yesterday was the first sitting of parliament since the Howard government was returned to office on October 9.