Frydenberg and Danby at the despatch boxes

December 10, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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There was a rare moment in the Australian Parliament recently when two of Australia’s leading Jewish Parliamentarians Michael Danby Labor MP for Melbourne Ports and Josh Frydenberg Federal Liberal MP for Kooyong sat opposite each other on duty at the despatch boxes in the House of Representatives.

Josh Frydenberg sits left across from Michael Danby

Josh Frydenberg sits left across from Michael Danby

These boxes, which sit on the central table within the Chamber, were originally given to the Australian Parliament by King George V to signify the opening of the Old Parliament house in 1927. While originally used as transportation devices, nowadays the despatch boxes serve to represent the link between the House of Commons in England and our House of Representatives.

Both Labor and the Coalition have a senior member of their party with Parliamentary Secretary status or higher observing Parliamentary debate from the despatch boxes at all times, however this is the first time that two Jewish members have sat across the Table of the House at the same time. As Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister respectively, Danby MP and Frydenberg MP will continue to sit on duty every Thursday during the next Parliamentary year.

Michael Danby said: “To have two senior members of their respective Political Parties, both sitting next to their despatch boxes, shows the opportunities and standing awarded to all Australians, including Jewish community here in Australia.”

Josh Frydenberg. who is Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, told J-Wire: “It is a great privilege to be sitting next to the despatch box and even better to look across the table and see Michael Danby. Australia offers credible opportunities to its citizens regardless of race, religion or colour and this is something we should always celebrate and never forget.”


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