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Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 29


Mr BRUCE SCOTT (MaranoaDeputy Speaker) (17:32): First of all, I congratulate you, Madam Speaker, on the very high office that you have been elected to today. I noticed your lack of reluctance to be dragged to the chair—the Speaker is, traditionally, reluctant—but I know that you are going to fulfil this role with great dignity through your great capacity and through your knowledge of the procedures of the House.

I also acknowledge and congratulate the member for McEwen. We have worked together on the Speaker's panel during past parliaments. Numbers count in this place, but I know that, as he fulfils his role as Second Deputy Speaker, the member for McEwen will cooperate with me and with the Speaker.

I thank my nominators, the Deputy Prime Minister and the member for Parkes. They are both in neighbouring electorates and I thank them for their very generous comments. I also acknowledge the comments of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I also thank them for recognising my dear wife, who is able to join us in the chamber today. As the Leader of the Opposition said, in this place our partners, wives or husbands, lend us to this place, because being here is a strain on families. I share this moment of great tradition with my family. The privilege of representing the seat of Maranoa in this place comes at a price for the family, and I know I could not have done it without the support of my wife.

I also have in the chamber today my daughter and son-in-law, my chief of staff and my media adviser. It is wonderful to be able to share this moment with the people who have been so supportive throughout my parliamentary career. It is not easy for any of them, including my staff, so it is wonderful to have them here to share this very proud moment.

The Governor-General said, in the Senate this afternoon, that there is a new page being turned on this 44th Parliament. It really is in the hands of each of us. If we want the respect of our electorates and the people of Australia, who are demanding high standards and a change of conduct—I will put it that way—we should realise that it is in our hands. I can assure you that I will do my part working with you, Madam Speaker, and the Second Deputy Speaker to make sure that we allow robust debate but that there is civility in the chamber, because the population of Australia is looking forward to an improvement on what they may have seen in years past. I will do my utmost to make judgements in this place that are fair, equitable and even handed.

Again, I thank members in this place for the confidence that they have shown in me. I take it as an enormous privilege to serve as the Deputy Speaker and I once again thank all those who have made very kind comments about me, my wife Joan and my family, who share in this proud moment.