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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7831


Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (17:59): It is with a lot of sadness that I rise today to talk about my good friend Don Randall. I will keep my condolences quite short today because, really, I have only had the pleasure of two years with Don, here in this place. But in that short time I feel I got to know him quite well.

Don was a man who cared deeply about his family and passionately about his community; he cared for his colleagues and he loved the Liberal Party. He did not care much about the glitz and glamour of Canberra or about the protocols or pomp and ceremony. He was a man who cared about his mates and mentoring everyone around him.

As a new member in this place, I have to say, you knew when Don took you under his wing; you knew when Don really thought it was worth investing in you. I remember one of those first meetings with Don. I was sitting in Bob Baldwin's office after a spectacular meal that Bob had prepared and there was some spectacular sushi. I think it was salmon and one of Bob's—no, I think it was one of his spearfish and wonderful tuna that he had caught himself. We started talking about FoFA because it was on the agenda at that time or was just starting to come on the agenda. Everyone was talking about it in the sense of the bankers and what have you. For some reason—maybe I had had a glass of wine and a bit of Dutch courage—I started talking about it from the context of the self-funded retirees and the pensioners in my community and how this legislation, as it stood, was going to hurt people who were not necessarily foreseen at the get-go.

There was another young and would-be minister at this table and we were robustly debating it—me from the perspective of a constituent, and the soon-to-be minister discussing it from the perspective of the bankers and merchant banker land. It was quite a robust conversation, and Don was sitting back and enjoying his glass of wine. It was at the end of this that Don turned around and said to my now fiancee, 'The conversation tonight gives me faith in the class of 2013 that they actually do get it, that it is about the people we represent.'

I always feel blessed by that and feel blessed that it was at that dinner that I met my fiance. Aaron and Don struck up a very good relationship and a good mateship. In fact, Aaron thinks of Don as a second father. The last week Don was in parliament Aaron came in here—I would go looking for my fiance and he would be down in Don's office; every single night he would be down in Don's office, chatting to Don. Don's thoughts were always to the mentoring and stewardship of his colleagues. He was so selfless, in so many ways.

I remember Don quite often coming into my office. His stewardship was not just to us members. He would come down and sit and talk with my staff and have a chat to see how they were going. We heard today about the staff who worked for Don. But his mentoring actually went further, and I thank him very much for the words of advice that he gave my staff.

Don is such a loss to our parliament, but his legacy will live on. We have all learnt so much from him. For me, what I have learnt, in my two years here, from Don is that at the end of the day my job is to represent my community and to fight hard for the people I represent. That is a wonderful lesson from a man and it is a wonderful blessing that we have. Standing here today, as the member for Lindsay, it is an honour. To Don: thank you. Vale Don.