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Wednesday, 13 February 2002
Page: 247


Senator MASON (7:46 PM) —On my first night here in the Senate I was taken to dinner by Senator Parer, as he then was, Senator Calvert and Senator Gibson and their respective wives. It was a marvellous night; I never expected to be included in such a group, but there was great warmth and generosity. It was the first time I had had the chance to speak to Brian Gibson. I will miss Brian; he is a man of great courtesy. He is a gentleman of the old school and a man of gentle warmth. Just yesterday, I was walking along the corridor when I saw Brian and he ushered me in. He said, `Come in, Brett. What did you do over Christmas?' I said, `I read a few books.' He said, `You should have read this one. It's about Woodrow Wyatt'—who, Senator Evans, was once a Marxist but then reformed and became an informal adviser to Mrs Thatcher and, I understand, even Rupert Murdoch. Senator Gibson's interests extend from business—he spoke today about accountancy and his contribution to changing accountability rules in this Senate—to new members of parliament. I will always thank him for that.

When I arrived, Senator Newman was a cabinet minister, a star in the firmament but one that I admired from afar. Senator Newman, like her husband before her, made a great contribution to this nation. Australia is a much better place for it. The Senate will miss both Senator Gibson and former Senator Newman, and I will miss them as well.

Senate adjourned at 7.48 p.m.