New Labor MP takes aim at PM's catchcry

New Labor MP Anika Wells has taken aim at one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's catchphrases.
New Labor MP Anika Wells has taken aim at one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's catchphrases.

A Labor MP has used her first speech to parliament to take a swipe at the prime minister's favourite election catchcry - "if you have a go, you get a go".

Anika Wells, who replaced former treasurer Wayne Swan in the Queensland seat of Lilley at the federal election, says her role as a workers' compensation lawyer has shown her otherwise.

"I assisted and represented people who had been injured at work," she told the lower house on Monday.

"This reinforced something I already knew - not everyone who has a go gets a go. Life is not that simple or that reliably benevolent."

The new MP says Australia needs to be better at fighting disadvantage sensibly and collaboratively, while having regarding to evidence-based policy.

"We are also not great at making a space for people who don't fit," she said.

"We need to be measured by how we treat those who don't fit the squares, those without advantage, those not enfranchised, those who don't understand the paperwork, those who are shut out by the system, those who cast their votes reluctantly or not at all."

Ms Wells also hopes to help Australians believe in politics again, fearing many have switched off.

"We need to do that by actually being relevant to them, having their interests at heart and acting accordingly."

The 33-year-old says more millennials need a seat at the parliamentary table, as they will be the ones dealing with decisions of the current government.

More needs to be done in the face of global warming, she added, lamenting that an Australian rodent was the first mammal extinction from climate change.

"It has been lost, and that loss has changed nothing. It was news until it stopped being news just hours later," she said.

"In the near future, the North Pole will cease to be covered with ice in summer. It will be a dark ocean absorbing heat, instead of a vast sea of white ice reflecting it.

"It will be time to colour in the top of the globe."

Ms Wells says she wants to create a better future for her two-year-old daughter Celeste, revealing that the women's marches across the world in the wake of Donald Trump's US presidential win filled her with political drive.

"To borrow from Martin Luther King, who borrowed it from Theodore Parker, I had assumed that the arc of the moral universe would continue to bend towards justice," she said.

"I resolved then not to take that arc for granted any more. We cannot leave the future to fend for itself."

Australian Associated Press