Interview with Paul Hamer Civil Engineer and Member of Parliament
Last year, a student leadership summit was organised by students from Monash University and led by a postgraduate candidate, Laura Aston, under the auspices of the ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers). It was held at Box Hill.
A local representative there regretted, to some degree, that the seat of Boxall in the state government was considered a safe seat.
But in the 2018 state election, the Andrews government increased its majority, including winning the seat of Box Hill for the first time in 26 years. Their candidate was Paul Hamer, and in his maiden speech to parliament, he noted that his background was as a professional engineer, which was somewhat unusual for a politician. Can an engineer add something different to the political and government functions?
I interviewed Paul about his visions for transport. In his opening comments he said
For my inaugural speech, I did a little bit of research. And in the Victorian parliament since the first year of responsible government, which was 1856, there'd only been 31 engineers who had any form of engineering qualifications. So that would have included a diploma or undergraduate or postgraduate level. So, I am number 32. And there's been almost 2000 members of parliament in that time.
So that is a poor representation amongst the engineering community in parliament. And I daresay that our state parliament and the federal parliament over its time has similarly been under-represented.