National

Liberal MP focuses on son in first speech

By AAP Newswire

Surrounded by federal politicians and members of the public, a new Liberal MP has taken a moment to speak directly to his two-year-old son.

Knowing his young son won't remember the occasion, the new MP for Ryan, Julian Simmonds, said he hoped Theo would read his first speech to parliament in the years to come.

The former Brisbane City councillor explained that he entered parliament to make families and communities better connected, a decision he and his wife didn't take lightly.

"We understand that every moment I miss with you will be a small cut to our family," he told Theo, who waved to his dad across the chamber.

"And we know all those little cuts will leave scars on our hearts."

Mr Simmonds became emotional when speaking about he and his wife Madeline's 10-year battle trying for a child, saying he intends to help couples who are experiencing infertility.

"Not just to improve the efficacy and availability of treatments related to IVF, but also supporting other ways families can come together, like adoption and foster care."

Mr Simmonds noted the irony that his speech was about fighting for better connected families and communities, but that it would come at the cost of missing out on time with his own.

"But rather than lament, instead I trust that you'll grasp the reason I went into politics in the first place," he said to Theo.

"That I had to be in the fight to ensure you grew up in a community and a nation that was the very best version of itself."

The new MP has called on the government to increase its efforts to support families, "whatever their makeup".

"I will be passionate and vocal in this place as we seek to tackle the many challenges that bedevil and chip away at families, including cost of living pressures, domestic violence, bullying, isolation and relationship breakdowns," he said.

Mr Simmonds brings nine years of experience from Brisbane City Council to parliament, including time as the city's treasurer.

He boasted about the council's infrastructure spending, while giving praise to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's infrastructure focus.