James Paterson gave his maiden speech to the Senate yesterday, stating his position on issues close to the hearts of most 28-year-olds — the national curriculum, Israel and a debt ceiling. He also took the opportunity to thank the members of the ratpack that got him preselected to the plum spot. As reported by BuzzFeed, the group rallied the numbers for the baby-faced Senator:

Powered by homemade Anzac biscuits, the chino-wearing Liberal millennials had been using messaging app Slack for weeks (an app also used by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull) to organise and war-game the vote.

“They’re a group of people who weren’t going to be told ‘no’ by either side of the party and weren’t going to wait their turn,” a source close to Paterson told BuzzFeed News.

“These guys are the next generation feeling and responding to decades of frustration amongst people that politicians haven’t moved with the times, both in terms of how we communicate a vision for the country, and get elected.”

Towards the end of his speech last night, before even acknowledging his parents and wife, Paterson moved onto the “good companions over the years” who “worked very hard to see me take this place in the Senate”:

They include Aaron Lane, Jess Wilson, Gideon Rozner, Simon Breheny, Luke Tobin, Byron Hodkinson, John Shipp, Annabel Clunies-Ross, Rohan D’Souza, Julian Barendse, Christopher Koch, Georgia Letten, Brendan and Sara Rowswell, Yoni Cukierman, John Osborn, Andrew and Steph Campbell, Evan Mulholland, Adam McKee, Max Williams and Matthew Lesh. I am very optimistic about the future of the Liberal Party because this energetic, talented generation of Liberals is now ready to step up to make their contribution to public life.”

While we are taking note of these names and wondering how soon they will attempt to follow in Paterson’s footsteps, it’s interesting to note the first friend thanked, Aaron Lane, was a candidate for the Liberals until he was forced to resign after offensive comments he made on Twitter.

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Peter Fray

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