New MPs arrive at Parliament House to learn about being a politician

Tink, Spender, Monique Ryan, Sophie Scamps, Kate Chaney, Zoe Daniel, Dai Le and Watson-Brown greeted each other warmly and exchanged stories of their arrivals and dealings with the parliamentary bureaucracy.

For many, it was their first time meeting in person. But they are already linked after defeating major party MPs, including some big names, and also through the stoush this week with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese over reduced staffing allocations.

Tink said she expected to see collegiality across the class of 2022, regardless of where they sat on the political spectrum.

“I’m hopeful we can show that politics can be done differently in Australia and that we have a parliamentary system that is about discussion and reaching decisions on a consensual basis,” she said.

“I think that’s what the growth of the crossbench really brings into the House and I’m very much looking forward to playing a constructive role in that.”

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Speaker Andrew Wallace – who is expected to be replaced by Labor when parliament sits in July – welcomed the new MPs – seven independents, three Greens, 17 Labor and eight Coalition – “to this awesome chamber”.

Before the election, only 1205 people had been members of the House of Representatives.

“You will feel like you are drinking from a fire hose over the next couple of days but just know that if those 1205 members can do it, so can you,” Wallace said.

He noted the chamber was more reflective of the broader community after people from “very, very diverse backgrounds” had been elected.

“We’ve got policemen, we’ve got doctors, we’ve got business people, we’ve got miners, we’ve even got a dolphin trainer,” he said, the last referencing Labor MP Sam Lim.

His final piece of public advice was not to take themselves too seriously.

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“Whilst it is a great honour to be in this place, remember your roots, remember your friends and sometimes those friends are from across the aisle,” Wallace said. “No matter how long you are in this place, treat people with respect on your way up because chances are you’ll meet the same people when you’re on your way down.”

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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