REFLECTING on his first four years in Federal Parliament in his Syndal office, Family First’s Senator Steve Fielding maintains he will continue to work on the “bread and butter issues”.
With just 2 per cent of first preference votes when he was first elected in 2004, Senator Fielding now holds the balance of power with South Australian senator Nick Xenophon and the Greens.
He understands the enormous responsibility Family First will hold.
“We will continue to be a voice for ordinary Australians. We need to make sure not only business and unions have a voice. It is vitally important a bit of common sense comes out of those big decisions.”
The Wantirna South resident said he had concentrated on issues such as petrol prices, WorkChoices, bank fees and pensioners
“These are bread and butter issues which impact all of us. We want to give a fair go to ordinary Australians,” Senator Fielding said.
However, with the major parties taking up most media space, Senator Fielding has pulled the odd stunt to bring his views to the forefront.
There was the topless pensioner protest … dressing up as a beer bottle to float the idea of a national recycling scheme … wheeling around a supermarket trolley to highlight food pricing issues.
Go on YouTube and you can find Senator Fielding riding a horse, asking the major parties to stop “horsing around”.
But he understands that stunts can only be “pulled” in small doses.
“You’ve got to be careful with stunts.
“I take the responsibility pretty seriously, but Australians like to have a bit of fun,” he says.
Senator Fielding still has to pinch himself to realise he’s actually a senator in Canberra.
“I suppose most of us want to make a difference.
“When I got into local government there was no objective of going elsewhere.
“But its amazing to think from my days back in Reservoir as one of 16 children, to being in the Senate.
It’s a huge privilege; its an absolute honour.”