Never Give In

About this Item
SubjectsMembers of Parliament; Outdoor Recreation Party
SpeakersJenkins The Hon Jon
Commentary Valedictory Speech

Page: 2849

    The Hon. JON JENKINS [10.09 p.m.]: This is my final adjournment speech in this House, so I will use the opportunity to reflect a little on my time here. When I first came into Parliament in 2003 I had two primary tasks to accomplish. The first was to repair the public relations disaster that had surrounded my predecessor. I have done that: the Outdoor Recreation Party is no longer mentioned along with some alleged corruption, and we have managed to restore the faith of our many supporters and rebuild the party.

    My second task was to attack the credibility of the extremist conservation movement. Many see the abuse of science and the flawed logic of the "wilderness devoid of humans" mentality, but I have been less successful than I had hoped, perhaps because I have taken on other issues, such as scepticism of the theories of anthropogenic global warming. This is so important that I will take a few seconds to expand on it. Our climate has ranged from warm periods where the Opera House would have been under 30 metres of ocean to cool periods where cities like New York would be under three kilometres of solid glacier. Either of these scenarios would be catastrophic for modern civilisation should they return. However, the current mass hysteria surrounding climate change is based on a fraud.

    I probably cannot explain the detail of the flawed nature of these apocalyptic computer models to the average person, but an everyday example may help. El Niño is one of the major climate factors on the earth and if the computer models are unable to even predict next year's El Niño, how is it possible that they can predict the climate in 100 years time? The press has allowed political ideologues to hijack what should have been a scientific debate. I understand and accept that there is a part of the human psyche that finds itself attracted, however unwillingly, to controversy and conflict. Accordingly, the issues that make our commercial headlines are understandable. However, it is the media outlet that holds the very crucible of our democracy in its hands that has particularly disappointed me with its entrenched left-wing agenda—so much so that one could say the ABC may as well be the media arm of the Greens.

    Of all my efforts I am proud to say that I have never offered to trade my vote for the rights of the people of New South Wales for good and just legislation for a benefit of any kind. Some would say this is foolish and that I have achieved nothing, but I think Winston Churchill expressed my feelings:

    Never give in—never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

    I have kept that promise I made in my inaugural speech. Just as things were looking up and the possibility of re-election became feasible I became ill with a form of epilepsy. Investigations revealed a glioma as the probable cause and my physicians recommended my immediate retirement. Had not my National Parks Volunteers Service Bill made it back to the precedence list I would have been long gone. This bill, so close to my reason for being here, will mark my time in this House one way or another.

    In closing I would like to thank all the members of the New South Wales 4WD Association, who offer their time free of charge to the national parks to do volunteer work. My sincere thanks to Rob Kelly and the other executive members for their personal support during what have been tough times. My thanks also go to Nick Jacomas of the Australian Horse Alliance and Richard Smallwood of the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association—your continued support is appreciated. To Ken Thurlow, Rod Burston, Geoff Ruse, Jack Tait, Philp Creigh, Rowan Phelps, Merv McFie, Maurie Britten and the tens of thousands of fishermen and women up and down the coast whom I have met in the past few years: My thanks for your efforts. Do not give in!

    To the bicycle, kayaking, scuba diving and bushwalking communities, my thanks also for your support. I would like to say thanks to all the staff at Parliament House: to Chris, who was in Building Services, and to Lucy and Charles and all the other smiling staff, my thanks and well wishes. To Lynn and Stuart and the Legislative Council staff, my thanks for your assistance. To Hansard, my thanks for reliably reporting my sometimes rambling words, and I ask you to keep thinking of platypuses.

    A special thank you to John Evans for your assistance with procedural matters and for your sage advice. To the members of this House, I thank you for your friendship. In particular I would like to mention Gordon Moyes and Fred Nile for your counsel. And to Arthur, please do not give up trying to keep the bastards honest. I believe that democracy will be assured only when we have completely open government. I know many of you in the Government and Opposition quietly and in your own way try to do the right thing but with all the passion that I can, I would urge you not to give in to the "machine" but to fight for what is right and just.

    I would like to say a special thank you to my researcher, Renuka Peiris, for her unfailing loyalty, honesty and good humour and for looking after me when I really needed it. To the people of New South Wales I have one salient message: Even though many of you would hate the thought of getting involved in politics I would beg you to do so because it is politicians who make the decisions that affect every aspect of your life. Getting involved is the only way you can change the way we are governed.

    Lastly and most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Virginia, who, probably through the stress of my own ills, has succumbed to her own health problems and yet never complains during my long absences from home. My daughter, Victoria, has taken on the mantle of surrogate mother and carer. My son, Nicholas, has just followed me into the surf life saving club and started his first patrol at Coolangatta last week. To Nicholas and Victoria, I am so proud of you both, you are both great kids and I know you will grow into stunning young adults. To Virginia, I am sorry I have been away from home so much and I am so lucky to have you as my wife, friend and soul mate. I close with the words of Winston Churchill again:

    Never give in—never, never, never, never.