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Tuesday, 8 May 1990
Page: 28


Dr CHARLESWORTH —I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election, Mr Speaker. Eight months ago I had the opportunity here of putting forward the honourable member for Stirling (Mr Ronald Edwards) as Chairman of Committees. On that occasion I mildly chastised Ron because his face kept appearing on television screens in Western Australia under the caption of `member for Perth'. I might add that the publicity did not do him any harm.

Of course, if the honourable member for Stirling is anything, he is resourceful. When it comes to getting publicity, he is always coming up with a new scheme. Six of seven weeks ago we saw one of the best yet devised-a scheme whereby a person is able to get coverage on television, radio and newsprint every day for two weeks. It happens in this way. A candidate goes very close to losing at a general election. For the next two weeks during the counting of preference votes and absentee and postal votes, that person appears on the media every day saying, `It's too close to call; I am cautiously optimistic and if media members contact me tomorrow I will probably have a definitive result and would be happy to tell them about it.' That worked very well for the honourable member for Stirling six or seven weeks ago.

I should not be flippant for too long because the honourable member for Stirling's electoral success in very difficult circumstances is a reflection of the thoroughness with which he has done his job, the diligence with which he has pursued the aims and aspirations of his electorate and his genuine honesty. When one first meets Ron Edwards, one starts thinking that this guy is too good to be true. It is only after knowing him for a number of years that one realises that he is too good to be true.

His electorate is next to mine. I find him very cooperative. I am very well aware of how hard he works and I know how he is respected and well-liked in his electorate and throughout Western Australia. When we nominated him last year we suspected that he would do a very good job. His performance has confirmed that expectation. He has been a very fair chairman. He has been firm. He has shown commonsense and carried out his duties with a sense of humour. If that is not enough, he hates late nights. I think that Ron Edwards is the best choice for this job and deserves the support of all members of the House.