Joe McGirr sworn in as new member for Wagga

Independent MP Dr Joe McGirr sworn in as new NSW Parliament Member for Wagga following September 2018 byelection


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“Under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and the people of NSW.” - Dr Joe McGirr.

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Wagga’s new state MP, independent Joe McGirr, was sworn in as a Member of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon to applause from both sides of the chamber.

The ceremony, which was completed just before 2.30pm, took place a few hours later than Dr McGirr planned.

However, it was still in keeping with the aggressive schedule Dr McGirr set himself after being declared the byelection winner on Friday.

Wagga’s electorate has been without a representative in the lower house since former MP Daryl Maguire resigned from Parliament on August 3.

Dr McGirr’s wife Kerin Fielding and their daughters Lara, Natasha and Anna, along with friend and colleague Anne Hawkins were in the chamber for the swearing-in ceremony as guests of Parliament.

Unfortunately, Dr McGirr’s son Dylan was absent due to illness.

Prior to Dr McGirr being sworn in, the Speaker of Parliament, South Coast MP Shelley Hancock, noted the official paperwork.

“I inform the house that in accordance with section 76 of the Electoral Act 2017, I issued a writ on the 17th of August for the election of a member to serve in place of Daryl William Maguire (resigned),” she said.

“I further inform the House that my writ...has been returned with certificate endorsed by the Electoral Commissioner, advising the election of Joseph Gregory McGirr to serve as the Member for the Electoral District for Wagga Wagga.”

Dr Joe McGirr and his wife Kerin Fielding celebrate what looks to be a victory on the night of the Wagga Byelection Photo: Nick Moir.

Dr Joe McGirr and his wife Kerin Fielding celebrate what looks to be a victory on the night of the Wagga Byelection Photo: Nick Moir.

The speaker then called on Dr McGirr to take the pledge of loyalty or the oath of allegiance.

Before Dr McGirr could take the oath, the speaker called for silence in the chamber.

“This is quite a solemn occasion and I ask the house to come to order,” she said.

“That includes you, the Member for Maroubra (Labor’s Michael Daley); that’s disrespectful to the new member.”

At 2.25pm, Dr McGirr took the pledge of loyalty.

“Under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and the people of New South Wales,” Dr McGirr said.

Dr McGirr’s swearing in was met with applause form both sides of the chamber and shouts of “congratulations”, “well done” and “hear hear”.

One MP called out “I thought I’d see this” and another called out an invitation for Dr McGirr to campaign in the northern Illawarra electorate of Keira, a safe Labor seat.

The Speaker herself told Dr McGirr “congratulations” once he had taken his new seat in Parliament.

This article first appeared in theDaily Advertiser.

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