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Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Page: 11259

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) (3:34 PM) —On indulgence, firstly in relation to the contribution to this parliament for over 37 years on the part of Ian Harris AO, can I on behalf of the government, and I believe on behalf of all members present, simply congratulate him on the absolute professionalism of his service. Today is not the day to go through a complete and exhaustive rendition of his career. But can I say that in his discharge of his responsibilities, in my experience as a backbencher, as a shadow minister and as leader of the Government, he has been impeccably professional—always courteous in his dealings with members and always insightful in terms of the advice that we have sought, particularly in terms of the interpretation of the standing orders and Practice and the procedures of this place. Ian, on behalf of all of us here and those who you have had to shepherd from absolute ignorance of the standing orders and procedures to partial familiarity, which I believe is the highest station any of us can aspire to in this place, I say thank you, and I say thank you sincerely on behalf of all government members.

Following that, to Bernard Wright, can I just say that we are delighted by the decision concerning your appointment. Equally, in my experience you have served members of both sides of this chamber professionally and well over many years and, again, with a spirit of absolute courtesy and consistency. We wish you well in your future appointment and I believe this reflects well on the institution of the Australian parliament.