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Monday, 29 November 2004
Page: 24


Mr ANDERSON (Acting Prime Minister) (2:00 PM) —On indulgence, I would like to say a few words about the passing on 20 November of Janine Haines, a former leader of the Australian Democrats. Janine Haines was born on 8 May 1945 in South Australia to Francis Carter, a policeman, and his wife, Beryl, a schoolteacher. She was educated at Brighton High School and Adelaide University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts, and the Adelaide Teachers College, where she received a diploma of teaching. She went on to become a teacher of English and maths in high schools before entering politics.

In 1975, Janine Haines stood for the Senate on the Liberal Movement Party ticket. She was not elected at that time, but was later chosen by the then Premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan, to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate following the retirement of Steele Hall in 1977. Janine Haines became the first senator and also the first female senator for the Australian Democrats. Her first term as a senator expired on 30 June 1978. She was elected to the Senate again in 1980, taking up the position on 1 July 1981. She was re-elected in 1983 and 1987. She was appointed leader of the Australian Democrats in March 1986 on the retirement of Don Chipp, becoming the first woman to lead a political party in Australia. She held that position until March 1990, when she resigned from the Senate to contest the House of Representatives seat of Kingston and was defeated by the incumbent member, Gordon Bilney, from the Labor Party.

Throughout her time in parliament Mrs Haines was always an advocate for gender equity and women's issues, but she also maintained a strong interest in a wide range of issues affecting the Australian community. In her first speech to the parliament she said that it was not her intention to restrict herself to so-called women's issues or to put only the women's point of view but that she intended to concern herself with as many issues as possible affecting the people of Australia and in particular her home state of South Australia. She was the Australian Democrats' spokeswoman for what she called the social justice portfolios—health, social security, housing and construction, community services and women's affairs—as well as finance, Attorney-General's, Special Minister of State and Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio issues.

During her time as a senator and party leader she was a key figure in the Senate's consideration of quite a wide range of legislation. Among her political achievements she listed changes to the sex discrimination legislation, the negotiation of changes to the Hawke government's Medicare system, her determined public opposition to the Australia card and her stewardship of the Australian Democrats through one of their most successful periods.

During her time as a senator Mrs Haines was a member of a number of Senate committees, including the Senate Select Committee on Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes, the creation of which she strongly supported. She was also a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, the Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, and the Joint Select Committee on an Australia Card. She travelled overseas to represent the Australian parliament with parliamentary delegations to Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and New Zealand.

After she left politics she remained very active. She wrote a book, Suffrage to Sufferance: 100 Years of Women in Politics. She served on the council of Adelaide University. She was the President of the Australian Privacy Charter Council. She travelled the country speaking on a range of issues and engaged in radio, newspaper and consultancy work. In the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours List Janine Haines was appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for service to the Australian parliament and to politics, particularly as parliamentary leader of the Australian Democrats, and to the community. On behalf of the government and, I am sure, all who knew her in this place, I extend to her husband, Ian, to her daughters, Bronwyn and Melanie, and to other family members and friends our very real and sincere sympathy on their loss.