Remarks at the LOVE Wheels Bicycle Launch

25 Jan 2018
National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Prime Minister


Thank you Eloise, of course better known on Instagram as @newtown_treblemaker.

So – this is what happened – on the 2nd of October, at about 10 o’clock in the morning, Eloise chained this bike up to a ‘No Standing’ sign outside our house and quickly escaped. The Australian Federal Police inspected it and quickly satisfied themselves it wasn’t a threat to Lucy and my or anyone else’s security.

We were absolutely entranced by it. We fell in love with your bike.

But of course it was chained to the street sign and it didn’t belong to us, so what business did we have moving it?

So Lucy put a picture of it on her Instagram account - and I’ll read what Luce said. She said: “Everyone is having their say, but not many say it in crochet or as lovingly and beautifully as the artist who created this bicycle we saw today. Whatever the outcome of the postal survey I hope this bicycle becomes part of the public collection for posterity #VoteYes #LetsGetThisDone”.

And then a little later she added, because there were some comments on it, she said: “I think it might be knitted not crocheted” - you were right the first time, yes - “Apologies to the very talented anonymous creator”.

And then Luce said: “Hope she or he makes sure it is sheltered from weather and doesn’t become a poor stop for the local dog population”.

So our concern was for the safety of the bike.

And then a few days passed and you can still the remnants of the paper on the other side there, the ever officious officers, or efficient officers of Woollahra Council put a notice on the bike which said something along these lines: “Under Ordinance 84 (Z) (3) (A) (J2) (1) – if this bike is not removed within three days, the Council will dispose of it”.

Grrrr – be afraid.


So we saw that, and we thought we can’t possibly allow that to happen.

So we cut the chain and brought the bike inside, where it was kept out of the – protected both from dogs, weather and council inspectors.

And then after the marriage equality vote was passed, we put another picture of it up on Instagram and I put it up and I said we don’t know who made it, please let us know, perhaps its home should be our national museum or gallery to commemorate this extraordinary day. Put that up on the day, same- sex marriage was legalised in the Australian parliament. A momentous day indeed.

And that’s when @newtown_treblemaker broke cover.


Unknown, this anonymous crotchetier broke cover and we got – and it turned out we actually share a really good close mutual friend, as you always do I guess. And so the rest I guess is history.

Eloise thank you so much for this extraordinary work of love. It was created in love. It is about love. And I think for many of us, it will always be an enduring symbol of that extraordinary day when marriage equality was achieved and what an extraordinary process, every Australian had their say. 80 per cent chose to have their say, and 62 per cent voted ‘yes’. It was a very, very big hug.

Thank you very much.