We’d like to heartily congratulate Rob Pyne, the new state member for Cairns!
Not because he won or because of his political affiliation – we don’t care if he’s from the ALP, NLP, KAP or the Party! Party! Party!
(He’s ALP if you’re curious).
We congratulate him for doing so as a candidate with a severe physical disability.
Being a quadriplegic after an accident in 1991, Rob Pyne gives Queensland some genuine disability representation. Greater disability representation is something Queensland and Australia sorely needs. We may be missing people, but the only other MPs with prominent disabilities we can think of are Kelly Vincent (South Australian MP) and the now retired Graham Edwards (Western Australian and Federal MP).
This may or may not explain the YouTube video below:
People have mixed feelings about identity politics and MPs from distinctive backgrounds are sometimes reluctant to be pigeonholed as “single issue” politicians. We hope Rob Pyne can strike the right balance between that and representing his local constituency.
We are not saying that only someone with the lived experience of a severe disability would automatically be best qualified to be say, Minister of Disability Services (or whatever the department gets renamed).
But hey, it certainly doesn’t hurt…