South Australia’s first-ever Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, vowed to put the Murray River at the top of Canberra’s agenda when she was sworn in today.
Senator Hanson-Young, 26, makes history as the youngest woman ever elected to the Federal Parliament, and is the youngest member of the current Parliament.
“It’s been a nine-month wait since the election results were declared, and I am incredibly honoured and excited to be here in the chamber today, able to put South Australia’s issues front and centre,” said Senator Hanson-Young.
Senator Hanson-Young’s first act within the Parliament will be to move for the Greens’ proposed urgent Senate Inquiry into the Murray-Darling crisis.
“The lower reaches of the Murray desperately need water now, and I hope my Senate colleagues will support this Inquiry as a means to throw the river and its communities an urgent lifeline. This is a national emergency and we must take action now,” she said.
The new Senator from Adelaide said she would provide a strong voice for South Australia on environmental and social issues.
“Parental leave is an issue close to my heart that I will be campaigning for in the Senate. Australia lags behind the world when it comes to supporting mothers and fathers and I plan to do something about that,” she said.
Senator Hanson-Young was sworn in while daughter Kora, 18 months, was present in the gallery.
“It’s a great privilege and a great responsibility that rests on my shoulders here in the Senate,” she said.
“I campaigned for my Senate seat on a platform of helping create a fairer, greener and more sustainable Australia, and I want to do this through a principled and more compassionate style of politics.
“I feel privileged to be able to continue South Australia’s strong representation of young women in the Parliament – our voices must be included in decision-making for Australia’s future,” Senator Hanson-Young concluded.