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Wednesday, 25 February 1987
Page: 755


Mr CAMPBELL(7.56) —Frederick Walter Collard, who died on 1 December 1986, was born in 1912 in Western Australia and represented the electorate of Kalgoorlie from 1961 to 1975. I had the pleasure of working for Fred in many campaigns. His background was that of a common man-a trade union official with the Australian Workers Union and a wartime airman, rising to the rank of leading aircraftsman before his discharge in 1946. That background was to follow him throughout his parliamentary career. Reading the Hansard record of his speeches, one is struck by the wide range of matters in which he found time to be interested. His concern for the average Australian was continually expressed in all he did. All the topics he rose to address followed Australian Labor Party policy to look after those least able to look after themselves, to better the lot of all members of the community, whether from his electorate or the wider community. In that regard, his work with parliamentary delegations overseas was highly respected. He represented the Parliament and the people of Australia in Lima, Abidjan, Geneva, New Zealand and Tokyo.

Fred Collard often spoke on pedestrian subjects, but in a concerned manner; in all areas of social welfare; education, especially that of isolated children and their special needs; and Aboriginals in relation to business development as proposed in the States Grants (Aboriginal Advancement) Bill of 1968. He was a champion for reform and the maintenance or upgrading of the dignity of his fellows. As further evidence of his wide-ranging interests, he was to speak in 1966 of the benefits to isolated communities of television, thereby pre-dating the then Minister, Mr Staley, by some 10 years. However, he never made the extravagant promises that Mr Staley made. He was instrumental in swaying the Caucus of the need for special consideration for the gold mining industry in relation to gold tax. I had a special affinity with him in that area.

Long time Press gallery journalist and political encyclopaedian, Ian Fitchett, recalls that Arthur Calwell was so sure of the worth of Fred Collard and Kalgoorlie that a week before the 1963 election he vigorously electioneered in Kalgoorlie-probably to the detriment of the rest of the country, because it was a campaign he lost. More often in opposition than in government he was a debater of terrier-like qualities and never let a chance go by to show up the Government, giving great support to his leaders. I and my staff extend our sympathy to his family, especially his daughter Judy who resides in Kalgoorlie.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 7.58 p.m.