MP at 20

Most of the news in New Zealand about the Australian election focussed on who would form the government.

There are a lot of other stories:

Twenty-year-old Wyatt Roy won Longman, a seat taking in suburbs north of Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast, by a slim margin for the Liberal Party at the August 21 election, which also produced other political “firsts”.

WA Liberal MP Ken Wyatt is Australia’s first Indigenous member of the lower house.  There is also a Greens MP elected at a federal election for the first time – Melbourne’s Adam Bandt.

The Australian  reports:

Mr Roy spent his first official day in Parliament yesterday sitting next to the longest serving MP, Philip Ruddock, 67, who took him under his wing.

Mr Ruddock was elected in 1973, 17 years before Mr Roy was born.

He sounds like he’s enjoying the experience, but some things will take a bit of getting used to:

The country’s youngest federal MP, Wyatt Roy, says he is uncomfortable with the formality of some at Parliament House.

“I would much rather they call me Wyatt. I was talking to some of the parliamentary staff today and I said, ‘oh no, call me Wyatt’,” he said.

“They have to call me Mr Roy, and I said, ‘well in the military you salute the rank’, and I suppose here it is about the position and not the person.”

We were in Australia on election day and saw Roy interviewed on television.

He was articulate and came across as mature for his age and very grounded. He’ll need to be because being Australia’s youngest MP will mean he is likely to get more attention than most other new MPs.

His profile is here.

Google tells me that New Zealand’s youngest MP was Marilyn Waring who was 22 when she elected. If memory serves me correctly Simon Upton was the next youngest at 23.

5 Responses to MP at 20

  1. pdm says:

    It would be interesting to know abours youngest as the die hards hang on like leeches to the trough.

  2. dutchie down south says:

    It seems that Wyatt Roy had a wee bit of help because his direct rival Jon Sullivan had a major gaffe just 2 days out from the election…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/20/2988461.htm
    I was holidaying on the Sunshine Coast at the time and the local newspapers were screaming blue murder…
    However later on it came out the the father in the story didn’t tell the whole truth

  3. Neil Harvey says:

    Roy’s swing was much less than the LNP’s average Queensland swing. There was little doubt that there was uncertainty in voting for him.Has he ever had a job before ?
    See nothing wrong in him being elected. Remember he is a member of the House of Representatives – he is there to represent his area, from 18 year olds to centanarians. From students to professors, farmers to the unemployed.
    Still think the Australian system has some deficiencies.

  4. Neil Harvey says:

    Just a quick thought. Was Debbie Morris(NZFirst) younger. Not too sure !

  5. homepaddock says:

    His profile mentions Queensland University and work on the family strwaberry farm.

    If Wikipedia is to be believed Morris was 26 when she became an MP.

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