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Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 25

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (17:00): I move:

That Mr B.C.Scott be elected Deputy Speaker of this House.

It is my great pleasure to nominate my friend and colleague the member for Maranoa for the position of Deputy Speaker. Bruce Scott is my electorate neighbour. We came into the parliament at the same time and I have very much admired his contribution to the parliament over the years. He has a very large electorate—almost three-quarters of a million square kilometres touching the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales borders. Of course he has already served in this House with distinction as Deputy Speaker since 2012, and it is testament to the member for Maranoa that he was nominated for that post by the member for Sturt and seconded by the then Independent member for New England. I am sure that the new member for New England will be equally enthusiastic about the appointment of the member for Maranoa to this position.

The member for Maranoa brought dignity to the chair and a wealth of experience—experience gained also from the earlier time that he had spent as Second Deputy Speaker from 2008 and, earlier than that, from 2002 to 2007 as a member of the Speaker's panel. So he is a veteran of this House and its procedures in both government and opposition. Earlier he had served as a minister, for 5½ years, in the Veterans' Affairs portfolio and also as Assistant Minister for Defence. The Veterans' Affairs portfolio can be quite a difficult one, but he met those challenges with a great degree of enthusiasm, and Bruce and Joan were very popular figures in the veteran community during his time in that office. He delivered benefits to 350,000 veterans based on world's best practice medicine and delivery of services. He also introduced the highly successful Their Service—Our Heritage commemorative program and oversaw the upgrading and expansion of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He even gave the vets Viagra!

Beyond his parliamentary career, Bruce came to the parliament with a history of service to primary industry as a merino wool and prime lambs producer and an industry leader. I am certain that, as Deputy Speaker, he would be a person that you, Madam Speaker, could rely on. He would greatly support you in your task of restoring respect and dignity to the chair and of course to the House. It is with great pleasure that I nominate Bruce Scott for a return to the position of Deputy Speaker.