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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 58


Senator COLEMAN —by leave-I want to speak very briefly about a former colleague, Mr Fred Collard, who was a member for Kalgoorlie. For those who are un- familiar with the seat of Kalgoorlie let me say that I believe it to be the second largest electorate in the world, the largest being Alaska. If one cares to correlate the differences in temperature alone one would understand the problems faced by members for such seats. Fred was a member of the House of Representatives when I first came into this place. We had a large number of trips together on aircraft across the Nullabor. Fred was a very kind man, a very hard worker and was very concerned about the community. He spent very little time in Perth. Frequently he became more than a little annoyed because he would arrive in Perth on a Friday morning and would not be able to get to Kalgoorlie until the Friday night. He would have his electorate office open over the weekend to enable his constituents to see him and would return to Perth on the Sunday night so that he could catch a Monday flight back to Canberra.

Fred was well respected in the Australian Labor Party and was a member of a large number of community organisations. He was, as I have said, an extremely hard worker before, during, and after his term in the other place. I am sure that I speak for all members of the Labor Party, particularly those from Western Australia who served with Fred and those who followed him, when I say to his family and friends how sorry we are that his death has occurred. We pass on to them our sincere condolences and our very best wishes for their futures.

I will just explain a little more about the seat of Kalgoorlie. Fred's only contact with his constituents emanated from the town of Kalgoorlie. If one considers the top half of Australia from Geraldton across to Sydney one understands basically the size of his electorate. It was not possible in Fred's day as it is now-because travel arrangements were not available for members of parliament-simply to hire an aircraft from Kalgoorlie to visit other sections of the constituency. This meant that every time he travelled in his constituency he had to go from Kalgoorlie to Perth to take a flight. That also meant that he spent little time with his family. He bemoaned the fact to me a number of times that it was the travelling that was killing him not the seat of Kalgoorlie. Once again, I pass on my sincere condolences to his family and to his large number of friends and express my sincere appreciation of the work that he did.