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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6601

Mr TRUSS (Leader of the Nationals) (3:30 PM) —On indulgence, Mr Speaker, I join with those extending best wishes to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation on the announcement of his retirement today. The finance minister would often come to the dispatch box during question time with a relatively sharp tongue, and quite often his most aggressive remarks were directed towards the Nationals. I have to say I often wondered what went wrong, because he is one of the few people on the front bench with some genuine country roots. Somebody must have done something really bad to him in his little country town, because he has managed to carry this ill-feeling right through his time as minister for finance. In spite of a loving wife, in spite of all sorts of people who may have chosen to counsel him in different directions, he always managed to find some way to criticise the worthy role of the Nationals in this parliament.

In his retirement remarks the minister spoke about how he loved the people in the finance department. Maybe I understand that better than most, and I do not think there have been too many other people in the ministry who could think of anything nice to say about the finance department. They are lovely people, but they sometimes do things that other ministers do not like very much. The burden and responsibility of being minister for perhaps the most unpopular department in the whole of the government is something that he has carried with distinction.

My very best wishes go to the member for Melbourne, the minister for finance, on his retirement. We wish him happiness and every success in his future life.