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Wednesday, 7 March 2001
Page: 25284


Mr SPEAKER (3:32 PM) —I take the opportunity offered by being Speaker to advise the House and note for the record that today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of Mr Rob Chalmers's service in the press gallery of the federal parliament. I think I can safely say that none of us present as members of the House are likely to equal Billy Hughes's record of more than 50 years as a member—and I am not sure how many of us would want to! Equally, however, I think it is unlikely that Mr Chalmers's distinguished record of service to the nation for over half of its existence as a federation will ever be matched. None of us on either side of the chair is ever completely happy with everything that is reported about proceedings, but the gallery does play a critical role in reporting, disseminating, analysing and sometimes explaining what is done and said in the parliament. Rob Chalmers has been doing that with great professionalism since before many of us were born. On behalf of the House, I would like to extend to Rob our congratulations on his 50 years of service to the gallery, to the media and, through them, to the people of Australia.

Honourable members—Hear, hear!