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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 14


Mr DAWKINS —Mr Speaker, I am indebted to you for your indulgence. I wish to refer briefly to a statement I made to the House on 17 December 1993, on which occasion I indicated my intention to leave the government and at some stage resign my seat in this House. I advise the House that it is my intention to hand to you on Friday my resignation as representative for the division of Fremantle. This will be the second occasion on which I have left the House of Representatives. On the last occasion, in 1975, I was more bundled out than simply departing, as I do on this occasion with as much as grace as I can muster.

  Mr Speaker, it is now clear that Dr Lawrence, the former Premier of Western Australia, will put her name forward to represent the division of Fremantle. Under those circumstances I think it is desirable that the by-election be held forthwith. Since 1977 I have done all in my power and applied all my efforts to advancing the interests of the people of the division of Fremantle. It is now time for that effort to be continued with a new enthusiasm—which I know Dr Lawrence is committed to providing. I am quite sure she will provide that enthusiasm.

   I want to say how much I appreciate the support that I have received from the people of my electorate in seven elections. It is a somewhat different electorate from the one that I first represented. The city of Fremantle has become both an architectural and a cultural jewel as far as Australia is concerned. The electorate has seen a rapid growth in its residential area with an increasing diversity. As well as that, there have been some fascinating new industries established in the electorate. Industries as diverse as shipbuilding, communications, equipment, food processing and tourism are all producing, exporting and doing precisely the things which we want Australian industry to do all around the country. Whilst the people of Fremantle have been enormous supporters of mine and I have done all I can to advance their interests both as electors in that electorate and as citizens of Australia, as I have said before the time has come now to pass on to someone who can maintain the momentum.

  I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my successor as Treasurer, the honourable member for Gellibrand (Mr Willis). He has been in the job for only six weeks, but what a magnificent set of results he was able to declare in terms of the progress of the economy in that short six weeks. I congratulate him on his efforts; I congratulate the government. I wish him, the government and my party all the best for the future and many more election victories as well.

  Government members—Hear, hear!