House debates

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Constituency Statements

Western Australia: Cost of Living, Wishnowsky, Mr Mitchell (Mitch), Putt, Mr Alisdair Edward

4:09 pm

Photo of Matt KeoghMatt Keogh (Burt, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

The Albanese and the Cook Labor governments are both committed to easing cost-of-living pressures for our community. That's why, last week, we introduced legislation that will see every Australian taxpayer receive a tax cut. It's why we are working together to ease energy bills with rebates over summer, meaning more people can afford to use their air conditioning. And it is why, at the beginning of this month, free public transport for students getting to and from school was introduced. The cost of public transport for school students really does add up. The WA Labor government has run the numbers and estimates that families will save more than $500 on getting their kids to and from school thanks to this measure. This will make a massive difference for families in our community. The Albanese Labor government is working with the WA Labor government on our No. 1 priority—easing cost-of-living pressures.

I want to give a very special shout-out to one of our own: Gosnells local Mitch Wishnowsky, who took to the Super Bowl pitch yesterday as part of the San Francisco 49ers team. Mitch was called into action early in the game, punting the ball some 54 yards—50 metres, for those of us familiar with that. It was helpful that he started out his football career at our local Huntingdale Junior Football Club. He put in a real MVP performance. And while the outcome was no 'love story', I am sure he'll 'shake it off'.

I'd like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to my friend Alisdair Putt, who passed away last month undertaking the World's Toughest Row competition, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. His team were taking part in the six-week challenge to raise money for the Veterans Transition Centre in Western Australia that supports both veterans and their families with respite and transition. He was skippering a four-man rowing team made up of current and former defence personnel when he suffered a medical episode. Alisdair was a pretty amazing person. He was a former intelligence agent, a Navy reserve officer, a former prosecutor and a war crime investigator. I was fortunate enough to work with Alisdair at the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. He was a principal legal officer, well experienced, and I was a fresh-faced, new legal officer, but Alisdair was always generous with his time, free-flowing with the anecdotes of his experience both in the law and in many other roles he had performed. In one particular case, where he led me—a massive case for me to work on at such a junior level—he was such a great guide in helping me develop my experience as a prosecutor.

Alisdair's funeral was held on Monday, and there was, deservedly, a huge crowd in attendance. My condolences go to his family. Vale, Alisdair Putt. Rest in peace.