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Thursday, 2 April 1998
Page: 2388

Mr BEAZLEY (2:02 PM) —Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to join with you and the Prime Minister in expressing my condolences to the Chapman family on Kevin Chapman's passing. I had only been in parliament for six years at the time he retired. As the Prime Minister said, at that point in time both he and Mick Young had remarks to make on his contribution. I remember him less in that six-year period than I do as the voice constantly intervening to report on progress at points in time when I was trying to listen to my father participate in debates in this parliament. I did from time to time turn on the radio to do that.

There was a marvellous sort of comfort in the voice and the way in which he expressed himself. This parliament and this chamber never has been a quiet meadow, but it was the sounds of a quiet meadow that essentially emanated from Kevin Chapman in the quiet way he would introduce what would then become a complete barney across the chamber. He was the voice of the parliament for many people for a very lengthy period of time.

The other thing about him was his dress sense, which was, of course, appropriate to the dignified status of the House. He always had a flower in his lapel which changed on a day-to-day basis. This parliament is surrounded by great figures and great characters, not necessarily simply on the floor of the chamber, and he is one of those characters. We very much regret his passing and I join with the Prime Minister in expressing condolences to the family.