State Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan expressed his love for the community in which he had served since 2007, describing Williamstown as ‘the best electorate in the state’ in his valedictory speech at the Victorian Parliament on Thursday.
As a member of the Labor Party for more than 20 years and now the sixth member for Williamstown to serve the electorate for a period greater than 10 years, Wade Noonan noted many memorable moments over the years.
“In opposition I stood with our paramedics when they were fighting for fairness and decency and needed a strong voice to defend their integrity. In government I stood with our police to deliver a landmark enterprise agreement in 2015,” Mr Noonan said.
“As industry minister I stood with an entire community in Portland to save Alcoa’s aluminium smelter. I also stood with thousands of auto workers and supply chain businesses to help them retrain, re-skill and secure new opportunities.”
“I stood with Hazelwood power station workers in their hour of need and helped deliver Australia’s first-ever worker transfer scheme in the Latrobe Valley. These events were a reminder that Labor’s first responsibility will always be to working people.”
“I am proud of our investments in our local schools, including Bayside College, Williamstown High School and Newport Gardens, Newport Lakes and Spotswood primary schools, just to name a few.”
“I am also proud of the magnificent upgrades to the Williamstown football ground, the Yarraville Community Centre, the Newport Substation community arts centre and Seaworks in Williamstown.”
“I am proud that we were able to invest in a new renal dialysis unit at Williamstown Hospital. I am proud that we are building new trains in Newport, where my grandfather, Henry Noonan, worked as a boilermaker back in the 1940s.”
“I am extremely proud that our government will take thousands of trucks off local roads and provide a much-needed alternative to the West Gate Bridge by building a new road tunnel underneath Yarraville. Only Labor governments invest in the west.”
“My predecessors and in fact good friends, Labor greats Steve Bracks and Joan Kirner, both told me I had the best electorate in the state, and they were not wrong. I love my community and I am proud of Labor’s legacies in the inner west.”
Sharing stories and successes in which he credited to everyone whom supported him over many years, Wade Noonan said he could not have imagined that a working-class kid from a quiet court in Greensborough could ascend to the rowdy halls of the Victorian Parliament.
“I want to thank my staff, my comrades in the Parliament, Labor staffers, the dedicated public servants, the parliamentary staff, the countless community and local government representatives and the ordinary people I have met along the way,” Mr Noonan said.
“Finally, I want to thank my family. When I walked into this place my father said, ‘You bring with you your integrity, and the challenge is to keep it to the last day when you walk out’, and I have never forgotten that advice.”
“My mother, Colleen, inspired me to read, laugh, travel and enjoy a drink, and I am very grateful for that last point. My sister, Lisa, brother-in-law, Eugene, and their kids, Mackenzie and Archie, have always brought fun and love to my life.”
“Finally, to my beautiful wife, Julie, and our sons, William and Henry, thank you for standing with me regardless of the circumstances and for always being the loves of my life. I could not have done this job without you.”
“To the people that made it all possible, I want to sincerely thank you. Thank you sincerely to the entire Parliament for giving me this opportunity. I will certainly treasure it for the rest of my life.”
Wade Noonan was elected as State Member for Williamstown in 2007. He served as Minister for Industry and Employment, Resources, and Police and Corrections. Last year Mr Noonan announced he would not contest next month’s Victorian State Election.