I would like to welcome everyone who has taken time out of there day to come along to our election campaign launch for the seat of Spillet in the upcoming elections…. Thank you. My name is Richard Smith, but to all those who know me, I am simply Smiley.
This is an important day for not only myself, but also my wife Anne and my two boys Richard and Fletcher, who are all here today to support me…I also wish to thank my close friends whose continued support is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.
Many people have asked me why I would want to put my hand up to run for a seat in the legislative assembly and my answer is simple. I want to do whatever it is, that has to be done to make the Territory great again.
Like many long-time Territorians I have enjoyed a great life in this great place and enjoyed every thing that makes us the envy of the rest of Australia. Isn’t this the greatest place on earth….
However, I can see we have lost our way, Our sense of purpose but, more importantly, we are losing our soul to southern influence and money grabbing politics. This once great place is becoming, not so great anymore. Instead of sitting back and letting it all turn to dust, I have put my hand up to do whatever it is I have to do, to make the Territory great again. Not only for my kids and grand kids but, their kids and grand kids.
I am standing because there is a big job to do here and from what I have seen from our elected representatives in the last 2 parliaments, it’s not going to get done unless hardworking honest folk like all of us here today, roll up our sleeves and say enough is enough.
Our parliament is the laughing stock of the rest of the country. Many southerners are saying that we are incapable of governing ourselves and that we should go back to being run by southern administrators. I find this ironic considering the current chief minister is indeed new to the Territory and is from Canberra himself. We voted a local in and he was instantly back-doored by a Canberra yes man, who has sold many Territory assets against the will of its people. My uncle once said to me “ you can only sell the farm gate once.’
That’s what the current government has turned us into…The butt of all their jokes when it comes to the un-accountable, bickering ravel we call our government. One disaster after another, and all with no input from its people. No one seems to care or listen…. Where is our Aussie Spirit where we help our mates and no one gets left behind….That’s why we need strong Independents like myself, with fresh ideas and who care.
I believe the only way we are going to get an accountable, government free from corruption is by voting in as many independents as we can so that we can do what we are elected to do; and that is represent our electorates. Our job should be to listen to our constituents very closely and work for what they want! What they need! To make their lives better, and preserve our unique way of life…. To make the NT a better place for us all to enjoy.
I believe our past and current politicians have lost sight of why they were elected in the first place and that is, to work for the people.
It doesn’t matter if you have lived here 60 minutes or 60 years we are all Territorians and we all have the responsibility of making it great again. We owe it to the people who were here before us and for the people who will be here after us to do what we can to preserve our way of life.
I will tell you my friends what Richard Smiley Smith stands for,
Firstly, I would like to see more money allocated to education. Our education system needs to be funded on a needs basis and not per capita. We need smaller class sizes and more support for our teachers. Our children are our future and the current government seems to have forgotten them. I have had firsthand experience of this with my own children. The frustration and anxiety I and my wife felt when we went to, our then elected ALP Member with a problem and was told to, “simply move schools”,,,unacceptable,,, this type of comment enraged me. However, it is not the only time I have been frustrated by a politician’s lack of interest or desire to help. I feel it has become common place in the NT government and this is unacceptable,,, but, sad to say has become pretty typical.
Secondly, I would like to see the community given greater input on important decisions. The people are sick of being blind-sided by add hock decision making, and knee jerk reactions made by parties who have failed to address the people and are more interested in curtailing to southern government.
Thirdly, I would welcome any debate about the reintroduction of euthanasia in the Territory. I have lost close friends to cancer and other incurable diseases and have seen the pain and anguish in their eyes as they lose all control over their body. The pain, anguish and indignity these people have suffered is something that needs to be addressed. Having worked all my life in contaminated environments, I am not looking forward to the day when I may be told I have an incurable disease. I believe that people need to have the option of euthanasia. Those people who oppose it, don’t have to use it. But they should respect the right of people whose dying wish may be to end all the pain and suffering for not only themselves but their loved ones at their time of choosing.
Moreover, I would like to see our police officers with up to date computer equipment and software and personal cameras on all staff. They have a hard enough job without being hindered by out of date technology and equipment which obviously the current and past government has allowed to happen, it is not only dangerous but makes an already hard job,, more difficult.
Furthermore, I would like to see greater investment in renewable energy technologies. We live in a great place where wind, solar and tidal power is in abundance. Why are we not offering greater rebates and incentives for people who invest their time and money on such things? I believe that fracking is not the way to move forwards, and after having read some disturbing facts about it, I am sure it is something we do not need or want, in not only the Territory but the whole of Australia. We are lagging behind countries like Germany and Sweden with the money our government currently invests in renewable energies. We, our children and grandchildren will pay dearly for our previous and current governments lack of foresight and commitment in this area.
Finally, I would like to reassure you all,, that I am not against big business. However, I am against the government making under the table deals with big business which you and I always end up paying for. Unlike other candidates who are standing in Spillett I do not have political power brokers pulling strings from the background. I do not see being the member for Spillett as a birth right a career or as being in power. I see myself as a true Independent working for the people and doing my best for Spillett.
I stand here in front of you, my friends to tell you. I’m putting my hand up to work my arse off for all Territorians this I can assure you is not a decision I have made lightly. I might not have the razzle dazzle of the major political parties, their deep pockets, or indeed their political connections, but what I do have, in bucket loads, is the tenacity and willingness to do whatever it is that has to be done to make the Territory great again.
I’m not here folks to run down my opponents or to go over and over the past failures of governments. I will leave that for the 2 political parties. There good at it. I will run a positive friendly campaign and I will work my arse off in the next 10 days to speak to as many of the voters of Spillet to see how together we can turn this all around.
So friends if you see me out and about come and say Gday and tell me what your concerns are and how you think we can fix it. Because I’m here to listen to you all. Then if you decide to send me to parliament, I will be there to work for you all. I do apologise if I have not yet got to you however, Spillett is a large electorate and there is only one of me I will however, do my best to see everyone.
Thank you all very much for coming out today it means a lot to me, and for the next 10 days you watch me go! Watch me take on the big guys. Together with your help you watch us go to parliament and you watch us make a difference, and we can. With your help we can turn it all around.
Thank you all again for taking the time to come out and listen to me. Please help yourself to a sausage and cold drink.