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Monday, 19 June 2000
Page: 17606

Mr DANBY (6:03 PM) —After the many things that have been said today, I do not think I can add anything to the profound, honest and, indeed, beautiful things that have been said about Greg Wilton. Despite coming from the same state and from the same side of the Labor Party, I did not know Greg all that well before coming up here. We had—through the good offices of my friend the member for Wills—worked together before Greg's election on a project which I was very pleased to work with him on and from which he derived some satisfaction and which I believe was helpful in his rightful election here in 1996.

We got to know each other in the same way as the member for North Sydney and the member for Lyons did: it is hard to believe, but I too go to the gym. That is where Greg and I became very good friends in the first six months after my election. We became warmer and warmer towards each other, and Greg reached out to me and asked me down to the other side of Parliament House—down to the ground floor corridor. I am right up the other end near the dining room. Over the last six to eight months we had many intense discussions and meetings in his office as we became closer friends. His profound love of his family and his children were, I think, the common ground that we had together. He was a very intense father. Practically every discussion we had in his office would begin and end with some story about the children whose pictures I remember being very prominently displayed in his office.

Many of us have been aware of the difficulties that he experienced in the last months of his life, particularly the last few weeks. Many of us tried to do what we could to be of assistance to him. I, as a person who came late to the luck of his friendship, miss him as intensely as many of the people who have known him for a longer time. I say, particularly to his children, that he was a father who loved his children extremely deeply, at all times. There have been some—and I think the member for Hunter hinted at this—wrong and, indeed, infamous things said about Greg by some elements of the media, not all of them. But this is not the time or the place to address those. I know that, at all times, Greg loved his children. I want them to see that on the parliamentary record. All I can say on behalf of all of my colleagues is: Greg, we miss you.