Mark Robinson at the 2016 Cherish Life Dinner

Video Transcript

Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm just going to be very short tonight. The first miracle of the night is a politician, a poli-waffler, being short.

I'm only just going to go, I've been given three minutes and a wind-up already. My introduction only goes for three minutes, but, look it's a great to be here with champions tonight. The pillars of life are in this room. The people who stand up for for life, that stand up for babies, for women, for families. So many champions in this room and I've used my three minutes up just naming everyone.

But I'm both super inspired and sobered tonight. That's not bad for someone who doesn't drink. But I'm super inspired and sobered by what Rachel has shared, and I've watched some of that battle unfolding down in Victoria.

I had the opportunity to be there a couple of years ago at the March For The Babies and to speak alongside of Rachel on the back of a truck at the steps of the Parliament, and these are some of the amazing things that you get to do as a MP that they don't tell you at candidate training school. And you know, be ready for that time that you'll be speaking at a pro-life rally and thousands of people on the back of a track at, was it Burke street?, or wherever it was, and, you know they don't quite prepare you for that.

But we are in the middle of a battle, and that's the sobering thing. I have to say in some ways, as a negative, we are losing the battle across Australia in some places. I have to say, as someone now, with seven and a half years in Parliament, I've seen the social left stuff just, it's like Mao's long march. It's a long march the back way, but they eventually get you if you don't fight, and if you don't stand up in an organized way, and you don't rally the troops, and you don't put everything together, and your best foot forward, you lose.

But what I am inspired about is that when people like you guys in the room here today stand together, pro-life groups, church groups, caring individuals, members of Parliament, people of substance in our society stand and say, "No, we're drawing a line and we're not gonna go that way."

Now I'm told these things are inevitable. I was told when Mr. Pyne brought his bill into the house. These things are all calculated. They're rarely let allowed to be introduced by government unless they're already almost guaranteed to pass. I was told that resistance was useless. And then we started.

I've been asked tonight to give a very short report on the Pyne bills and where they're up to. So, we started this battle earlier this year and Mr. Pyne put his bill into the Parliament. There was a committee that they got together, the Health Committee, and there were submissions to that committee. There were e-petitions. The fight back started out of petitions of over 1450 petitions.

I think there was something like over 80% of the submissions to the Parliament were opposed to Mr. Pyne's decriminalization bill. That is a great response from the community, and I think it sends a very clear message. So much so, that members of Parliament, who would normally be considered moderates and open to some kind of reasonable kind of abortion reform law were very scared about it. They saw the public response. They saw the 24,000 or so people that signed the first petition, and we got a second petition that Wendy and myself that's out there that we need to get behind that second petition to fight the second bill.

But they saw the scale of the response, and this is something that this social left are not used to. The limiting, they're not used to this kind of level of societal backlash and response, and fightback. And I have to say that while I can't announce great news yet here tonight, I have to say it set back their agenda, I have to say...

The media are using the term 'the Pyne's bill has been blocked' and they're saying that, it's not all over, but they're saying that because the committee, after lining up all of the evidence of the experts, very stacked to the left mind you, those experts, said that it won't, it can't be passed to the power. They said they recommended that the bill not be passed. In other words, they gave it a big F, a big fail mark, and members of Parliament again as moderates, who might ordinarily support as in other jurisdictions, were afraid to support it.

So what we've got now is a bill that's parked. Before we could send it and scuttle it, unfortunately, Mr. Pyne, before he even considered the committee's report on the bill, and even looked at trying to bring some changes in and improve on his bill, he launched a new bill, the second bill, the second Pyne bad bill into the Parliament before we could scuttle it all.

So right now where it stands is the first bill has been reported back from the committee with a 'shouldn't go anywhere, it should fail'. It is now sitting, waiting to be debated, and can't be debated until, under normal circumstances, til the end of November our last sitting week of the year, which is the last couple days of November and December. That's the first day which that bill can be debated without some unusual resolution of the Parliament, which can still happen if they're sneaky in the midnight hours. They find a way to sneak it up and get some numbers. So we're on guard, watching for it at all times, at every sitting day of what they might do to sneak in because they know they're struggling.

The second bill now is before the committee. So write, well submissions have closed, but you can still contact your MP, you can still sign this new e-petition in the Parliament to oppose the second bill. The second bill is now before the committee being looked at again. The second bill is not primarily about decriminalization as the first bill was, but the second bill is about a few particular issues about 24 weeks gestation period, two doctors, safety zones, and a few other things in that bill that changes the health code. But that bill then, that bill now has the committee looking at it and will report back on February the 17th or something like that, mid-February and may or may not have to sit for a few months again depending on what the government do. There's a few permutations.

So at the end of the day what the government probably will try to do is scramble to throw the two bills together somewhere early in the next year and debate them and somehow sneak it through the Parliament. But I have to say it's struggling, all the work that you were doing, doing your bit, and the organizations you represent are having an impact.

I don't believe it's happened hardly anywhere in any jurisdiction in Australia where that combined muscle is actually having an effect. So can I encourage you? Can I encourage you to keep fighting, keep swinging, keep working together with various groups, keep having your say, keep talking to individuals because the fight's not over. And whenever there's enough of us in the Parliament and the Queensland Parliament and enough other members of Parliament they get a bit scared of that voting public out there and that reaction.

You know, there is a still a chance, there is still a hope that we can sink these two bills and the fight goes on. So can I encourage you tonight. I am inspired to see the potential. I've seen us lose so many battles. I've seen us lose so many things in the Parliament, and sometimes it's because we haven't been smart enough, and we haven't worked more closely together. But I'm very encouraged by what I see in the room today. Sign our e-petition, write to your MP, keep fighting because resistance is useful. Thank you.