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Bishop, Sen Mark
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- Start of Business
- Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011
- Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2011 Measures No. 1) Bill 2011
- Aged Care Amendment Bill 2011
- Customs Amendment (Serious Drugs Detection) Bill 2011
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further Election Commitments and Other Measures) Bill 2011
- Second Reading
- In Committee
- Third Reading
- Customs Amendment (Export Controls and Other Measures) Bill 2011
- Customs Tariff Amendment (2012 Harmonized System Changes) Bill 2011
- Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (MRCA Supplement) Bill 2011
- Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Amendment Bill 2010
- Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further Election Commitments and Other Measures) Bill 2011
MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST
- The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT
- Building the Education Revolution Program
- Palliative Care
- Scouts Australia
- Parliamentary Standards
- Beams, Mr Alan and Mr Graeme
- Beams, Mr Alan and Mr Graeme
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Australian Labor Party
(Ryan, Sen Scott, Evans, Sen Christopher)
Live Animal Exports
(Sterle, Sen Glenn, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
Live Animal Exports
(Boswell, Sen Ronald, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Milne, Sen Christine, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Payne, Sen Marise, Arbib, Sen Mark)
(Furner, Sen Mark, Arbib, Sen Mark)
(Bernardi, Sen Cory, Wong, Sen Penny)
(Senator FIELDING, Ludwig, Sen Joe)
(Macdonald, Sen Ian, Wong, Sen Penny)
- Australian Labor Party
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: ADDITIONAL ANSWERS
- QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: TAKE NOTE OF ANSWERS
- Procedure Committee
- Senators' Interests Committee
- Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
- Economics Legislation Committee
- Community Affairs Legislation Committee
- Scrutiny of Bills Committee
- Public Works Committee
- MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS
- AUDITOR-GENERAL'S REPORTS
- Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012, Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2011-2012, Family Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 5) Bill 2011, Veterans' Entitlements Amendment Bill 2011
- Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Bill 2011, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011
- REGULATIONS AND DETERMINATIONS
- Senator HUTCHINS
- Senator HURLEY
- Senator FIELDING
- Evans, Sen Christopher
- Abetz, Sen Eric
- Faulkner, Sen John
- Wong, Sen Penny
- Joyce, Sen Barnaby
- Sterle, Sen Glenn
- Arbib, Sen Mark
- Stephens, Sen Ursula
- Bishop, Sen Mark
- Farrell, Sen Don
- Pratt, Sen Louise
- Brown, Sen Carol
- Feeney, Sen David
- Brown, Sen Carol
- QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Senator MARK BISHOP (Western Australia) (18:57): Previously I have spoken of the contributions of Senator O'Brien, Senator Forshaw and Senator Wortley, and I will not go over that again tonight, except to hold to those remarks.
On Senator Hurley: Senator Annette Hurley has had a distinguished career for more than 20 years in the labour movement, both in South Australia and here in Canberra. She has held high office in both Adelaide and Canberra, served on the national executive and done a sterling job as chair of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee. I wish her and Bob all the best in their retirement—well, in the paths they choose to pursue in forthcoming years!
I now turn to Senator Steve Hutchins. I have known Steve Hutchins since the late seventies or early eighties. In some respects we followed a similar career path, although on different sides of the continent: firstly being active at university; then associating with and joining various ideological or philosophical groups that were relevant at the time; spending time in the trade union movement, at Harvard University in the United States, and then coming to this place in 1996 and 1998 respectively. Steve, there are a lot of anecdotes or stories that I would love to tell, but I will confine my remarks tonight to the relatively G-rated ones, to highlight two aspects of your character, and leave some of the other material perhaps to other forums at a later hour of the night.
Firstly, let me talk of Steve's particular method of operation, his modus operandi, because he is a person who is quiet and thoughtful and thinks far ahead, and who generally achieves his purpose by making suggestions to others. I recall that, about this time last year, or perhaps a couple of weeks earlier—52 weeks plus two—he said to me, 'What are you doing next Saturday?' I said, 'I'm going home.' He said, 'Why don't you come up to Sydney? We've got a by-election there in Penrith and we need some help in handing out how-to-vote cards.' I thought at the time that was an odd request; surely they had enough people to hand out how-to-votes in Penrith, but I said to myself I would go there. I went up there and I was on the polling booths from about 10 am till about 3 pm, when I came back to Canberra. After about an hour or so it was quite clear what the outcome in Penrith was going to be. I think we were polling about 25 per cent, the Greens were polling about 25 per cent, the Libs who were challenging were up around 50 or 55 per cent and the writing was clearly on the wall. I have one particular memory of that day. A little old lady slowly walked up the path outside school and I was one of the first handers-out. This lady came to me and as she approached I said, 'Australian Labor Party how to vote, ma'am.' She stopped and looked me up and down and said: 'Thank you, but not today, son—perhaps another time.' It was about an hour into the process and I thought then that we were done, as it turned out to be.
When I came back to Canberra, on the Sunday and Monday I told a few stories to colleagues. During those 24 or 48 hours, 25 or 30 people wandered around to my office to get my take on what was happening that day. I told them my impressions of what was happening in Penrith as an outsider, and I think that had some bearing on events later that week or early the next week. The point of the yarn is that I suspect all that which was about to occur had been anticipated by Steve Hutchins when he asked me and Senator Farrell to go there and hand out how-to votes that day. That was his way of operating.
I have another story about how he works in this place. He is a particularly quiet, effective and charming operator in a lot of respects. I recall around four or five years ago there was a vacancy on the front bench of the Labor Party. We were still in opposition and the powers that be had determined who was going to win the eventual position. It was a right-wing position and they had made it clear who they wanted to get on to the front bench. Shortly after that was made clear, Senator Collins wandered around to my office and said: 'I would like to go on to the front bench. Can you give me a hand?' I said, 'I'll see what I can do, Jacinta.' I ran into Senator Hutchins later and said, 'Steve, I want a yarn with you.' He said, 'What about?' I said, 'Jacinta wants it.' He said: 'I'll see what I can do. I'll talk to Leo.' He came back to me later that afternoon and said: 'I've raised the issue. It's going to be hard, Mark, but we'll see what happens.' Jacinta was pressing fairly strongly to know the outcome of discussions and that went on for a week or so while there was no resolution.
We had the ballot scheduled for midday on a particular day. About half past 10 or 11, Steve came around to my office and said, 'You know that matter you raised with me?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'How many votes do you want?' I said, 'I want six.' He said, 'You can't have six; you can have four.' I said, 'I need six.' He said, 'Four's enough.' We went into the ballot and the outcome was 21 to 20. The outcome was delivered and Senator Collins went on to the front bench. As we know, she has been reappointed by the Prime Minister in later years.
Steve is quite deserving of my final comment. He is, as has been outlined to everyone, shifting down to Melbourne in a month or so. His wife is a member of the opposition in Victoria, and they are going to do their best down there. Steve is a typical New South Wales person. He thinks and believes in his heart that Australia ends and begins at New South Wales' northern, southern and western borders and the rest is populated by nice people but largely unexplored. There is some justice in the fact that he has to live in Victoria!
I am particularly reminded of that by a bitterly cold weekend some years ago when we were both in Canberra with our families and it was -3 degrees on a Saturday afternoon. I said to him I had a couple of tickets for the footy—the West Coast Eagles were playing North Melbourne. I suspect his wife is now an avid supporter of Essendon, the Western Bulldogs or some team out there in the western suburbs, but then she was an avid supporter of North Melbourne. We all went to the footy together. About three-quarters of the way through the match I leant over to him because he had been passing rude comments about Australian rules. I said to him, 'What do you think of that?' He said: 'I think one thing: I think our Indigenous are doing better than your Indigenous.' That was his comment on Australian rules football. I think there is some justice in his now having to go down to Melbourne town and live where they talk and breathe nothing other than Australian rules.
I was asked to be brief—I have not quite respected that. Steve, you have been a very good friend, a more than able ally, and a very capable operator in Labor Party and labour movement terms. You are much respected; you are much liked. You have served well your faith, your family, your union and your party. I wish you, Natalie and your extended family all the very best in forthcoming years.