Working mum takes on Tony Abbott’s report card: meet the ALP’s Terri Butler @GriffithElects reports


By Jan Bowman  @GriffithElects

15 December 2013

Following her preselection over the weekend as Labor candidate for the Griffith by-election, Terri Butler held her first campaign press conference at a noisy West End hub: Avid Reader bookshop.

After she batted-away any suggestion that this by-election would be about the Labor Government’s past performance, or a backlash against Kevin Rudd, Butler described the upcoming ballot as: “An opportunity for people in the local community to send a message to the Tony Abbott government about the shambolic first 100 days; the embarrassments overseas; the loss of manufacturing jobs; all the backflips on education”.

“When I’ve been talking with people in the local area, they have been very concerned about these issues,” she said.

“I have a serious chance to win this seat.”

Terri Butler, ALP candidate for the Griffith by-election.

Terri Butler, ALP candidate for the Griffith by-election.

A by-election date has not been set, but, like others, Butler is anticipating a February poll in Griffith.

“I am looking forward to campaigning to keep this seat a Labor seat,” she said.

On the question of her personal appeal, she said: “I am someone that people can relate to. I’m a young Mum, I’ve got a successful career, and, like a lot of people in this electorate, I juggle the responsibilities of looking after my family with full-time work”.

Butler spoke primarily about the National Broadband Network and aircraft noise as top-of-mind local issues.

She said people are concerned about the NBN: “My opponent Dr Glasson was actually an NBN champion, now we’re seeing people not getting the NBN and the Abbott Government offering an inferior alternative”.

“Dr Glasson has been unable to speak out about that.”

She described aircraft noise as an important issue for Griffith voters, with the new parallel runway being built at Brisbane airport in 2020.

According to Butler, the Brisbane Airport Corporation expects to see Hong Kong levels of aircraft traffic.

“We need to balance the economic benefits of the parallel runway with liveability for people in our suburbs,” she said, and proposed a trial curfew, such as those in Sydney.

Ms Butler revealed that Mr Rudd had telephoned to give his congratulations on her preselection win.

“He told me he was delighted I had been selected as the candidate,” she said, and added that she hoped he would provide plenty of support and advice during the campaign.

She fell short, however, of confirming or denying that Mr Rudd will join her on the campaign trail.

As to the rumoured tensions within Labor ranks during the preselection process, Butler said the party had a “fantastically democratic process”.

“It’s been really enthusiastic, people have been energised; people have been engaged. We had a wonderful process where two good candidates put their case.”

Butler said her opponent, Jeremy de Lore, had been a fair candidate, and she congratulated him on the way he conducted his campaign.

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  1. Mark Campbell says

    To the people of Griffith, please do the rest of the country a favour and vote your ALP candidate in. I am a long-time Liberal voter but if I had the chance to vote against them tomorrow, I would do so. The outright lies spewed by Turnbull and Abbott concerning the NBN make both of them unfit to be in parliament. Many of us voted Liberal not because of their ragtag NBN policy, but in spite of it. We knew that the self-funding ALP solution of fibre to the premise was a better scenario but consoled ourselves that we would, based on the “bullet proof” promise of 25Mbps, at least have usable internet by the end of 2016.

    We won’t. Your local businesses won’t, making them just that little bit less competitive. Your children won’t, meaning their ability to research for school and University is compromised. Your local medical centres won’t, meaning telehealth is now just a pipedream. Your elderly will probably never have the opportunity to videoconference with their grandchildren from home or the nursing facility. It is hard to think of any part of modern life that cannot be made easier, more efficient and/or more enjoyable through the application of fast, affordable broadband.

    We’ve been shafted folks and you are the first people in Australia who have a chance to tell Turnbull and Abbott that they should not treat the electorate with complete contempt by lying on pivotal issues.

    • Well finally a person who admits he voted LNP and now telling us why he would vote against them tomorrow if he could. He has been lied to, deceived, humiliated and telling us Turnbull and Abbott are unfit to be in parliament . Thank you for your honesty Mark Campbell. I am hoping that Griffith do back Terri Butler and ALP. We have to Put a stop to these crazy egotistical power crazed individuals running the LNP and stop the humiliation we are enduring.

  2. Good article, Jan.

    Congratulations Terri Butler on gaining ALP pre-selection to contest the Griffith by-election. Do hope you win, too, of course. It is great to see people like yourself in the so-called Left faction of the Labor Party. Personally, as a member I’d rather there were no factions.

  3. I hope the people of Griffith give the monstrosity now parading as our Pm and government a good hiding and send the message loud and clear that the people of Australia do not like being taken for suckers and mugs by a bunch of shysters in suits from the Coalition parties.

  4. Just what us people need in Griffith and the ALP are short of a Labour Lawyer. We have had Rudd for years and he did nothing on aircraft noise (that was one of his platforms when he first got elected) and he was the PM twice.

  5. I hope the good people of Griffith vote for Terri Butler not just to send a message to Tony and the clown party but because they genuinely think she is a good candidate and will work hard for them and also help to make Abbotts Brownshirts a one term Government.