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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 221


Ms ROWLAND (Greenway) (16:44): I was honoured to be amongst the very many mourners who attended the funeral of former member for Hunter, Eric Fitzgibbon, the Saturday before last. As his son, Joel—who has so ably succeeded him in that seat—noted in the chamber today, the one thing that stands out more than anything else about Eric Fitzgibbon was his commitment to his local community and the fact that he could very sincerely say he is one of us.

At that service we heard of some immensely funny moments in Eric's life. We also heard that he was someone not afraid to push forward with often controversial issues, but he always did so with the clear intent of helping better his local community. It was a time we remembered that leading up to his death Eric, unfortunately, suffered from dementia. Like so many people in our community, many of whom will be known only to us in our hearts, it is, in the words of Hazel Hawke and others, a very long goodbye.

I feel terribly sad for the Fitzgibbon family, a very notable clan in their local community. I am sure that the hearts of all of his local community and of this parliament reach out to them at this very difficult time.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded. The chair will be resumed at 5.45 pm.

Sitting suspended from 16:46 to 17:45