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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6600


Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) (3:28 PM) —Mr Speaker, if I could add some remarks about my colleague Lindsay Tanner: I was sitting in the chair then trying to calculate how long we have known each other and, unfortunately, that is a calculation that is going to reveal something about our ages. But I think I first met Lindsay Tanner when I was 19 years old and I was involved in the Australian Union of Students. I suspect his early memories of me are not necessarily the fondest ones, because I do recall, in what seemed in the hurly-burly of student politics to be a crisis of remarkable dimension—and obviously now I have completely forgotten what it was about but I do remember this—in one of those pressurised moments, knocking on his door in Carlton in the middle of the night in order to seek his counsel about this crisis. It says something about the man that he never complained that I did bash on the door for a discussion at 2, 3 or 4 am about something that I am sure he considered of no particular moment. He was very generous with his time.

Obviously we have known each other all of those years since, in the Victorian branch of the Labor Party and in this place. We have worked together, we have had our moments of agreement and we have had our moments of disagreement, but I think across all of those years we have had a friendship and a respect for each other. I certainly very much respect the hard work that he has done as Minister for Finance and Deregulation, and I can understand how enthusiastic he is to return himself to his family, to break out of the windowless cabinet room and get to go home. All of our very best wishes and thoughts go with him as he moves to that next stage of his life.