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Friday, 20 March 1987
Page: 1269


Mr COWAN(4.14) —I rise to pay tribute to a great Australian, the late William Adolphus Chaffey, who died a fortnight ago. Mr Chaffey was a member of the New South Wales Parliament for 33 years. Prior to his being elected to parliament, his father, the late Captain Frank Chaffey, was a member of the New South Wales Parliament for 27 years. This means that the Chaffey family has given 60 years of service to the New South Wales Parliament. Both father and son represented the Tamworth electorate. It was my privilege to serve with Bill Chaffey in the Parliament for approximately 10 years. He resigned in 1973 and Mr Noel Park became the member for Tamworth. I want to speak about Mr Chaffey because he was a great Australian who was greatly respected by not only the population of his electorate but also the people of New South Wales, particularly the farming community. Bill Chaffey served the electorate not only as its member but also as Minister for Agriculture from 1965 to 1968. Over time he will be renowned for the progress he brought to the State, particularly to the dairying industry and in the Grain Handling Authority of New South Wales, and for the many issues upon which he made decisions.

Bill Chaffey was a man who had great respect for God, Queen and country. I can recall many instances over the years when he talked to the younger generation who came along to see the Parliament in operation. The Country Party, as it was then called, resided in what was known as the `Old Richmond Cottage'. We lived there as a family. William Charles Wentworth, I believe, was born in Old Richmond Cottage. Many times I have seen Bill Chaffey take not only the children but also adults around the cottage to point out the various aspects of the place.

He served Australia during the last World War. He served in Papua New Guinea. He was twice mentioned in the despatches and was awarded the American Bronze Medal. I believe that he was a member of the Z special task force that served in the South East Asia area during the War. Bill Chaffey is a person who I feel possessed a great sense of humour. He was able to get along with people very well and he always impressed me with how easily he was able to sum up a situation. On many occasions I asked Bill to pass an opinion about certain problems.

I succeeded him later on as the Minister for Agriculture in New South Wales and, the day after I was sworn in, he came to see me to congratulate me and offer assistance. I sought his advice on many occasions. He could sum up a situation in a simple way with very few words. On many occasions he spoke about the first farm in Australia which was at Sydney Harbour. A monument exists today to the first establishment that Governor Phillip established. Bill Chaffey spoke to children about this with great faith in the agricultural scene in Australia.

He was trusted by the people of Australia. He remarked to me: `If I can walk the main streets of the town and can look people in the eye when I complete my parliamentary service, I will be a very happy person'. I am sure that he succeeded in doing that after such a long and outstanding service to the people of his elec- torate. I convey to Mrs Chaffey and the family my sincere respects.