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Monday, 23 June 2008
Page: 5642


Mr LINDSAY (7:53 PM) —I rise to add my comments to those of my colleagues who have spoken about Quentin Bryce, a truly awe-inspiring lady. Quentin Bryce, the current Governor of Queensland, is a great friend of Townsville. She has been to Townsville on many occasions and I have been with her, both in Townsville and at Government House in Brisbane. I have come to know her as the person that she is—an absolutely delightful mix of formality and informality. She relaxes you immediately that you are in her presence. She does not just do the job for the sake of doing the job. She does the job because she cares; she does the job because she is interested. She is engaging, and she understands, wherever she is—and, of course, governors get to go to all sorts of interesting places, even to Maranoa, Mr Deputy Speaker Scott—what is being explained to her and she asks very relevant questions. I know that, most recently, she enjoyed her visit to James Cook University, one of the premier tropical universities in the world today, and she enjoys visiting the north.

She is a noncontroversial person, as governors have to be. And it does take a special person to perform that role: to make sure that nobody is offended in the community yet to let the community know how you feel about particular issues. She is the sort of person who would agree with what I am going to say now. It is kind of a bit irreverent, but she would appreciate what I say and she would not take offence at all. She is in fact an air commodore in the Royal Australian Air Force, and she from time to time reviews Air Force parades. The Army would say, ‘We know how to march,’ and the Air Force would say, ‘We know how to march too, but perhaps Army has a better claim to that.’ When the Governor is in her Air Force uniform, she probably has the worst salute that I have ever seen, and she would agree with that. But that is the way things go.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. BC Scott)—I hope you are not reflecting on Queensland’s governor, because it would be improper, I would remind the member for Herbert!


Mr LINDSAY —I am not reflecting on the Queensland governor. She would understand, and she would agree with me. I also pay tribute to her new official secretary, Mark Gower, who is also an Air Force officer and who is also an air commodore. Mark Gower has spent a lot of time of his time in 395 ECSW in Townsville. His last posting was at Amberley, but he is now the new official secretary. He deserves that job, and he will fit that job very well indeed.

There have been a number of female governors, but of course there has not been a female Governor-General, so this is a step forward. I have not found a person who actually disagrees with that appointment. It is a very good appointment, and she will do a great job. There are so many female members of the community—across the community, in all segments of the economy—who are leaders in our economy. Thinking about that, Gale Kelly, the CEO of the Westpac bank, comes to mind. She was, of course, CEO of St George Bank, and is a very, very impressive lady. She is not unalike in stature to the Queensland governor. One of the areas—and now I will be controversial again—where perhaps females are not as well represented as they should be is in the churches. I find that quite sad, and I am not a Catholic but I certainly speak to my Catholic bishop about that. He has a surprising view on that, and I think, one day, we will see Catholic female clergy in the church. I hope we see that sooner rather than later. That would then involve a discussion on married priests, but that would be straying from the Governor-General Amendment (Salary and Superannuation) Bill 2008.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER —I was just about to suggest that to you!


Mr LINDSAY —We will not go in that direction. Congratulations to Quentin Bryce for her elevation to Governor-General. I of course support this machinery bill that is needed at this time to do what needs to be done in relation to the Governor-General’s salary, and I certainly commend the bill to the House.