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Thursday, 17 October 1996
Page: 5711

Mr NEVILLE(9.55 a.m.) —I would just like to make a very small contribution to this debate this morning. I knew Mac Holten for some 30 years. I could not claim a close friendship with him, but he was one of the most impressive stalwarts of the party. Back in 1969, when I was young and foolish, I got very much involved in politics and I actually stood for the federal seat of Wide Bay. Mac Holten came to Bundaberg and Maryborough and campaigned for me. Some of the things the member for Gippsland (Mr McGauran) has said were etched on my political psyche. One of them was that, as the member for Gippsland said, you must always ask for their vote.

The other thing I remember of him distinctly was his great ability to move in any conceivable community, whether it was on the floor of a sugar mill, to the blue rinse set of the ladies committee or to a CWA branch. He translated right out of Victoria into a Queensland setting and he had that great ability to nurture a new political candidate. I have often thought that, if it had not been for people like Doug Anthony, Ian Sinclair and Mac Holten, I probably would not, over the 20 to 25 years when I stayed active in the party, have ever stood for a seat again. Perhaps I am here today because of people of that era. I would like to add my words of gratitude to him and condolence to his family.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honourable members standing in their places.