Monique Ryan roasts Josh Frydenberg and quotes Harry Potter in inaugural speech to Parliament
Monique Ryan roasts Josh Frydenberg and quotes Harry Potter in inaugural speech to Parliament

Monique Ryan roasts Josh Frydenberg and quotes Harry Potter in inaugural speech to Parliament

The doctor-turned-politician who ousted former treasurer Josh Frydenberg gave her predecessor a firm backlash in her inaugural address.

Monique Ryan defeated Mr Frydenberg in the Melbourne south-east seat of Kooyong in the May 21 election as one of seven blue-green independents.

Her victory marked the first time in 80 years that the Liberal Party had lost the Blue Ribbon seat, which Dr Ryan compared to Australia’s devastating floods.

The former pediatric neurologist first paid tribute to Mr Frydenberg as a “respected member of this place” on Thursday before quickly cremating him.

Doctor-turned-politician Monique Ryan, who left former treasurer Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong, gave her pastor a firm hand in her inaugural speech.

Monique Ryan defeated Mr Frydenberg (pictured with his wife Anne at the 2018 Mid Winter Ball) in the south-east Melbourne seat of Kooyong in the May 21 election as one of seven blue-green independents.

“Kooyong has always been a seat for Tory politicians – since its formation in 1944, the Liberal Party has always had Kooyong,” she said.

“The last time a sitting official lost his seat in Kooyong was in 1922 – proof that not all once-in-a-century events are bad.”

His “once in a century” reference was likely to the series of floods that NSW and Queensland experienced this year, often referred to as such events.

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Dr Ryan had kinder words for former Kooyong MPs Sir Robert Menzies, Andrew Peacock and Petro Georgiou, calling them “true liberals … committed to protecting the rights of individuals”.

“I hope to honor that legacy by representing the electorate with dedication, integrity and effect. I am the first woman and the first independent to represent this electorate. I won’t be the last.

Ms Ryan was once one of seven independents (five of them are pictured together in parliament, with Ms Ryan in the middle) who secured rich city-centre seats that were once Liberal Party strongholds.

Fellow Teal Independents congratulate Ms Ryan after her inaugural speech on Thursday

DrRyan was once one of seven independents to capture wealthy inner-city seats that were once Liberal Party strongholds.

They were funded by billionaire Simon Holmes à Court Climate 200 campaign, on a pro-business platform but supporting strong action on climate change.

Dr. Ryan used much of her speech as a rallying cry for the issue, even quoting Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore to encourage like-minded people.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when you only think about turning on the light.” she said.

The mother-of-three called climate change “the biggest challenge facing our generation” and said she would fight for victims of floods and bushfires.

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“For rural communities in western NSW and Queensland, with drought-stricken farms and towns, the people of Kooyong voted for you,” she said.

“To the people of Cobargo and Mallacoota and Kangaroo Island, whose houses burned that black summer – Kooyong voted for you.

“For the people of Lismore and Woodburn whose homes have been repeatedly flooded this year, Kooyong has voted for you.”

Senators Peter Whish-Wilson (left) Larissa Waters (second from left), Jordan Steele-John (second from right) and Monique Ryan (right) spoke to protesters

Outside, 100 other protesters were joined by Greens MPs and independent Monique Ryan (centre) to call on Prime Minister Anthony Albanian’s government to do more to tackle climate change.

Dr. Ryan drew on her experience as a decorated physician and researcher with 150 published papers to support her views on climate change.

“We’ve had a wasted decade of ineffective action on climate change. As a doctor, researcher and scientist, my job has always been to take care of children and protect their future,” she said.

We are on the brink of a great opportunity: a transformation to a new clean energy economy – one that will not depend on volatile markets and international security for a secure energy supply.

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“An economy away from polluting fuels and combustion vehicles to silent electric vehicles and clean air for our children. Our renewable energy sources are the envy of the world.

“We can use these natural benefits to reduce the cost of electricity for households – to protect our elderly neighbors from heatwaves, to ensure Australian families don’t have to choose between heating and food.”

Dr Ryan began his first week in Canberra supporting radical climate change protesters who stormed Parliament and sang protest songs on the marble steps in the foyer.

After being expelled from Parliament, the up to 100 activists took their protest to the lawn where Ms Ryan spoke to them and posed for photographs.

– Are you opening new coal and gas mines? In this economy? she then wrote on Twitter.

Even if we could ignore the dangerous emissions from fossil fuels (we can’t), finance, business and economics experts warn that new coal or gas projects will quickly become a stranded asset. Clean energy is our economic future”.

Ryan won Kooyong with 52.9% of the vote and plundered the Liberal Party with his expected successor to Scott Morrison, paving the way for Peter Dutton to take the helm.