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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3841


Mr STEPHEN SMITH (PerthMinister for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House) (09:33): In my capacity as the member for Perth, it is my sad duty to make some remarks today about the recent passing of three stalwart members of the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party. In recent weeks, Western Australia has lost three fine citizens and the Western Australian branch of the Labor Party has lost three great contributors: Sean Walsh, John Crouch and Jaye Radisich. I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to families and friends on the tragic passing of these three colleagues. They were all of different ages but all of them died way too young. They all made a substantial contribution to the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party. I have known them variously over the years as the Principal Private Secretary of the Attorney-General of the state of Western Australia, as the State Secretary of the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party and subsequently as the member for Perth.

I have known Sean Walsh since 1984. We were both ministerial officers together in successive state Labor governments. He made a substantial contribution to government in Western Australia and a substantial contribution to the Western Australian Labor Party. He finished his career in government, and with the Labor Party, as Chief of Staff to the Premier, Geoff Gallop. There could be no greater commendation or greater recommendation of Sean's contribution, his integrity as a person or his standing, than the regard with which Geoff Gallop held him, and Geoff made a fine eulogy at Sean's recent funeral.

I have known John Crouch since 1976. He was a longstanding, devoted servant of the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia. He had aspirations to ensure that Western Australia, and Australia generally, became a better society. He was interested in renewable energy and climate change long before it was fashionable to do so. He was a longstanding delegate to the state executive of the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labor Party, and also served with me as a member of the party's administrative committee. He completed his contribution as a longstanding electorate officer to Ed Dermer, one of our upper house MPs. My condolences go to his family and to his longstanding friends: Sue Neacy, Graham Connell and John Cowdell.

Finally, Jaye Radisich was a former member of the state parliament, of whom a lot has been said publicly. I will make a couple of remarks about Jaye. She was born in 1976, the year that I met John Crouch. She died tragically at the age of 35. She was the youngest woman MP of the state parliament of Western Australia. She won her seat on two occasions quite miraculously—with swings of 11 per cent and then three per cent. She was a woman of great courage and she has the eternal admiration of all of her state parliamentary colleagues and Western Australian federal parliamentary colleagues. Again, my condolences to the family and friends of the three concerned.