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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11962


The SPEAKER (12:11): I thank the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Prime Minister, the member for Sydney, the Treasurer, and the member for McMahon.

Joe, when you began your last speech just over an hour ago, you reminded us of the first line of your first speech, which was:

I am in Canberra today because I want to make a contribution to the future of Australia.

Over seven parliaments, from that 38th to this 44th, over nearly 20 years: you have. With passion and compassion, with strength and with decency, with fortitude and—as we saw again today—with that wonderful, self-deprecating humour. You have served your electorate, this parliament and our nation with honour and integrity. In that first speech nearly 20 years ago, you spoke of your family. Melissa was there that day, as she is this day. You said Melissa would walk with you through the highs and lows of political life—and Melissa: you have. Today we recognise all that you have done. We thank you for your incredible contribution. To Joe, Melissa, Xavier, Adelaide and Iggy: we wish you all the very best for the future.