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Monday, 29 November 2004
Page: 25


Mr COSTELLO (Treasurer) (2:06 PM) —On indulgence, on behalf of the Liberal Party, I too wish to pass on our condolences to the family of Janine Haines: to her husband, Ian, to her daughters, Bronwyn and Melanie, and to other family members, on what will be a very great loss for them. Janine Haines filled a casual Senate vacancy in 1977 at the age of 32. It was a very young age to begin a parliamentary career. She came into the Senate to fill the vacancy caused by Steele Hall, who had been elected on the votes of the Liberal Movement Party. Steele had been a premier of the Liberal and Country League in South Australia and had disagreed with the Liberal and Country League and formed the Liberal Movement Party. He had been elected to the Senate and, when he vacated the Senate seat, Janine Haines filled it. Steele was to bring the Liberal Movement Party back into the Liberal and Country League and turn it into the Liberal Party of Australia in South Australia. Janine went on to the other third party force which was then gathering in Australia, the Australian Democrats—which had also been formed by a former senior member of the Liberal Party, Don Chipp.

Janine Haines's view was that if the Democrats were to become the significant third party force in Australian politics they had to win lower house seats. She had the courage of her convictions to run for a lower house seat in 1990, when she did exceptionally well but did not win. The seat that she ran for, Kingston, has been very much a marginal seat, slipping between the various political parties, ever since 1990. Janine Haines's position in the Senate was taken by Senator Meg Lees, who in turn was also to go on to lead the Australian Democrats.

Senator Haines began what has proven to be quite a tradition in the Australian Democrats. She was the first woman to lead a political party, and she did it with great panache and great aplomb. There is no doubt that in her day she was a very significant political player. She attracted a lot of adherence to the Australian Democrats, and she was a very forceful spokeswoman for the Australian Democrats. There is no doubt that she had a keen intellect, a very good political feel and a great deal of charisma as she led that political party.

Janine Haines went through some personal difficulties. She came close to death in a car accident once, out at Whyalla, but she never let those difficulties deter her. She talked about a ravenous hunger for politics and said, `Once you've tried it, you get hooked.' That may well be the experience of many members in the House. It is a great tragedy for her and her family, to whom I pass on the condolences of the Liberal Party. It is a loss to the people of South Australia and those people who supported her in third party politics during her career. On behalf of the Liberal Party, I pass on condolences to her friends and supporters.