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Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Page: 9876


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:03): I think all members of parliament were shocked and saddened to hear of the death earlier this morning of our friend and former colleague David Jull. I thank the Prime Minister for her gracious words of appreciation for his life and service.

David was the member for Bowman in this place from 1975 to 1983. After a brief interruption he was the member for Fadden from 1984 to 2007. When he left the parliament he was the fourth longest serving member of this parliament. In some respects, but not in all, the highlight of his public life was his service in 1996 and 1997 as Minister for Administrative Services. In those days this was a large and complex portfolio dealing with the multifarious operations of government. As a minister in a cost-cutting government, David was required to find savings and he used to tell the story that in those days any government driver who was on the road for more than seven hours was apparently entitled to a new pair of pyjamas at the taxpayers' expense. David rescinded this edict, but he never wanted to say how government drivers subsequently slept.

He was always disappointed never to have been minister for tourism, because tourism was his great love. He was a former deputy manager of the Queensland Tourism Corporation, but the fact that he was never the minister did not stop him from providing copious, welcome and helpful travel tips to all of his colleagues who sought them.

He did not languish in the parliament after leaving the ministry. For a decade from 1997 to 2007 he was the chairman of the ASIO committee, subsequently the intelligence and security committee. He chaired this committee during a tumultuous time for our country, a time when the security and intelligence services necessarily expanded massively to cope with the threats subsequent to September 11, and the war on terrorism. The fact that Australia has avoided any direct terrorist outrages in this country over this difficult period is in some way a credit to his good work as chairman of this committee.

David was a gentleman member of this parliament in every sense. He had a great temperament. He was, for instance, never bitter about the circumstances of his leaving the ministry, although many in similar circumstances would have been. He was great company, particularly when he had a cigarette in his hand—as he did perhaps more often than was good for him. Above all else, he had great judgment. He said back in 2007 that he entered parliament after 'the nation was absolutely wrecked by Whitlam, and I leave it during a tremendous John Howard-led period'. What wise words. It has been a lesser parliament since he left. On behalf of the coalition, I mourn his passing. I offer deepest condolences to his former wife, Erica, to Jay and Michael Goldman, to his sister, Gwen, to his brother, Peter, and to Peter's sons, Stephen and Andrew. We will miss him. He made a great contribution.