Derryn Hinch: “That’s Life” now in Canberra
After eight long weeks of campaigning, promises and political spin, the Federal election has been run and (almost) won.
With millions of votes yet to be counted, neither the Coalition nor the ALP have been emerged as victors just yet. The ‘real’ winners out of this Double Dissolution election have been the independents.
So, the morning after the morning after the Federal election, new Senators and Independents are being courted for their support as potential power brokers and potential ‘king makers’.
Derry Hinch is among those who can wield some power in the new look Upper House with the former talk-back radio star winning a Victorian Senate spot with his Justice Party. Not bad for a man, who five years ago was literally on his death bed and given just two weeks to live.
He now transitions from radio personality to politician with a promise that he won’t be changing his uncompromising style, which probably explains why voters ticked his box.
“There’s a mood around the country; they’re fed up with the major parties. They’ll vote for them to form government but want an insurance policy in the Upper House. They’re gone for a variety of people, who’re all pushing their own causes and I have a few too”.
“I’ve always said a country should be judged on how it treats its elderly, children and animals. And we fail on all three counts”.
“I’ve been campaigning for years for a national public register of sex offenders. I want a Senate Inquiry into the Family Court and Child Welfare Agencies, we need to do something about Super and I’ve always been opposed to the Live Stock Export”.
Moving into politics wasn’t always on the agenda for Hinch. He was motivated by members of the public, frustrated by a lack of action by their MPs.
“Four months ago, I didn’t have an official party and last night, I had 15 minutes on the phone with the Prime Minister of Australia. Bill Shorten called me on Friday to wish me well. It’s surreal, but it’s good and I’m excited”.
“But, the most beautiful thing happened on Saturday. A woman sent me a text saying ‘Derryn I voted for you. I’m proud of you”. She was the mother of my transplant donor. I was on the bus and I cried”.
“I think I may be the first politician in Canberra to have undergone a (liver) transplant. I’ll be working hard with Transplant Australia to increase the donor rate”.
Having won his Senate seat, the man known as the “Human Headline” and the “Mouth from the South” now finds himself on the other side of the media fence.
“Yeah, I’ve jumped the shark. I never dreamed that I’d do it. Some of my best friends are journalists and if I get inside that Canberra bubble and start talking like a pollie, they’ll prick that bubble very fast”.
“The best advice I got was from my campaign manager who said ‘they’re voting for you because you’re Derryn Hinch, not because you’re a politician. Don’t become one”.
With the political landscape now very different from last week, we’re in for a very interesting three years.
But, ‘that’s life’.