By political reporter Dan Conifer
New Liberal MP Tim Wilson has delivered an emotional first speech to Parliament where he lamented not being able to marry his fiancé, Ryan.
Mr Wilson is the new member for the Melbourne seat of Goldstein, replacing former trade minister Andrew Robb.
During a 20-minute address during the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening Mr Wilson, who is gay, thanked his partner for years of support.
“I know you have sacrificed so much for me to be here today, and we are only at the end of our beginning,” Mr Wilson said.
“For seven years a ring has sat on both of our left hands. And they are the answer to a question we still cannot ask.
“No matter what happens, we have already achieved more than many who come and go from this place, because we have lived the change we seek in the world.”
Mr Wilson also opened up about inner torment during his childhood.
“The story of finding myself dominated my teenage years,” he said.
“For six of them, I let fear decide and determine who I could be. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I chose to confront that fear.
“It was a fear that took an energetic 12-year-old and hollowed his confidence to eventually doubt his legitimate place in the world.
“Yet it was in those depths, that I found my deeper, inner strength.”
Call to raise GST, reform IR laws
Before entering Parliament, Mr Wilson worked for the free-market think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
He was then appointed a human rights commissioner by Attorney-General George Brandis.
During the speech, he urged industrial relations reform to help Australia deal with the digital future.
“If we don’t start to have a sensible discussion around industrial relations, workers’ interests are being put second,” Mr Wilson said.
“Security is no longer achieved by legislation or regulation alone.
“Whether they accept it or not, those that argue for inflexible industrial relations are now the enemy of workers’ security.”
Mr Wilson urged a major overhaul of Australia’s tax system, saying companies and individuals should both pay 20 per cent tax, and the GST should be hiked to 20 per cent too.
“I have never understood why we tax people more than companies,” he said.
“It fosters perverse incentives for the wealthy to redirect energy to minimising tax rather than growing profits.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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