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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 2930


Senator FORSHAW (New South Wales) (19:03): Mr Acting Deputy President, I will be very brief. I did get the opportunity last night in my own valedictory to extend best wishes to Senators Troeth, Barnett and Trood. The brevity of my remarks tonight is in no way an indication of the respect I have for each of them and the best wishes that I wish to extend to them. I apologise that I was not here to hear their valedictories. I was doing what all of us are often doing; I was attending a committee meeting, working on a report on Australia's relations with Africa. I will read the speeches.

With regard to Senator Guy Barnett, he is somebody who I have known all of the time he has been here, but I have not worked on that many occasions with him on committees, except most recently on the territories bill, which was an interesting experience. My association with him has been through his work with the friends of diabetes—that does not mean we like diabetes; it is the group that does such great work. Senator Barnett has been at the forefront of that group's work. And may he continue to ride that bike, too. We shared a plane to Coffs Harbour recently. I arrived and got in a cab and went to the hotel and Guy got in a bigger van and then took his bike with him to ride up the mountain, which I thought was pretty crazy! But congratulations to Guy on all of the great work he has done for that wonderful cause, and best wishes.

I am not going to be here, but the Senate is certainly going to miss Senator Trood because of his excellent work on foreign affairs. I have already referred to that. He, like each of the senators, including me, has been in that terrible spot on the Senate ticket where your future hangs in the balance. Unfortunately, from his perspective and his party's perspective, he was not re-elected. His talent and expertise in foreign affairs will be missed.

Finally I go to Senator Troeth, whom I have known for many years and worked with on a number of committees—including rural and regional in particular and, most importantly for both of us, the Public Works Committee. She has been the deputy chair of that committee for a long time. That is a terrific committee. It does a lot of great work. It is not always written up in lights, but Senator Troeth has been a superb participant. There is also her work for the IPU. We enjoyed a very hardworking trip to Geneva and Paris last year. Best wishes to you all, and I hope to catch up with you all in our respective retirements.