In an impassioned first speech to 43rd Federal Parliament, the newly re-elected member for Bonner said it was a humbling experience to return to parliament after a 3 year hiatus.
“I am honoured to once again be representing the people of Bonner, and I thank them most sincerely for the faith they have shown me to be their representative, their advocate, and their voice on the national scene,” Mr Vasta said.
Mr Vasta declared his intent to build on his past track record in successfully delivering new services to the residents of Bonner and will continue to work throughout the term towards delivering improvements in terms of transport and road safety, health services, communications and community support.
“I will serve you faithfully and tirelessly, “Mr Vasta said.
He also promised to keep an open and transparent line of communication between himself and the Bonner Community, especially in regards to the lack of internet services throughout the electorate and Labor’s proposed new super clinic in Wynnum.
“My constituents constantly remind me that this is taxpayer’s money, not the government’s money, and therefore, the community must be involved in the process of deciding what they need. They are, of course, absolutely correct, and the Government should listen to and respect that view,” said Mr Vasta.
Mr Vasta said that while he accepted the verdict of the electorate in 2007 when he was not re-elected, he could not deny the incredible personal disappointment felt at the time because he felt he still had so much to contribute and to deliver to the people of Bonner.
According to Mr Vasta, he has used the last 3 years as an opportunity to broaden his experience in the private sector and to maintain and expand his involvement within the Bonner Community.
“I believe that I have continued to learn and grow during my absence from this Parliament and all of those experiences will assist me to be a better and more effective representative of my community’s view in Canberra, “Mr Vasta Said.
Watched by the leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott and a large contingent of his parliamentary colleagues, Mr Vasta said his commitment to the electorate was strong yet simple.
Mr Vasta’s speech also paid special tribute to the electorate’s namesake, the late Senator Neville Bonner, and the former member for Bonner, Kerry Rea.
“Politics is a tough business and I know from personal experience the pain of losing. I want to wish Kerry and her family all the best in her future endeavours,” Mr Vasta said.
Mr Vasta said that although giving his first speech in parliament was a special moment, he was glad to be back in Brisbane and back in the electorate again.
“Going to parliament as only a small part of the job – the most important work is here in the electorate,” Mr Vasta said.