What a huge privilege it is to represent my wonderful state of New South Wales in the Senate. Thank you so much to my colleagues for nominating me and, especially today, it is wonderful to be joined by two incredible black senators, Senator Cox and Senator Thorpe, and be standing here with our team, which actually respect and celebrate First Nations culture and diversity in Australia.
The Senate is a place where a huge diversity of political views are heard and it is important that the Senate is facilitated by people who can also represent that plurality. But what we see again and again is a stitch-up between the two major parties, the Liberals and the Labor Party, and we see it again today. This is not the first time it has happened. We talk about democracy here—this is the chamber of review—but again and again democracy is shut down. How many times have we seen, just in the last couple of years, debate being shut down by guillotine motions? We stopped the Notices of Motion as formal business and that shuts out the plurality of views represented in this parliament.
To my colleagues in the Labor Party, if you really want to be an opposition, then act like one. In the history of the Senate, there's only been one woman in that chair and that was decades ago. We've been talking about gender equity all this year. If you really care about gender equity, then things need to change. I would be very honoured to facilitate this chamber as the second woman ever in history and the first woman of colour. It is time to shake things up. It's time for change.