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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7746


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Education and Training) (10:14): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the government and as Leader of the House on your election as Speaker today. As most members in this House would know, the new Speaker and I have been friends for our entire political careers—right back to university days. We have been through many trials and tribulations and many successes together over the course of those 30 years, knowing each other from student politics right through to the current day, and I look forward very much to his role as Speaker, a very young Speaker. I am not sure that I have served in the House with such a young Speaker before. Steve Martin might be the closest to that, so it will be an interesting image for the parliament, and a refreshing one at that. So congratulations to Tony Smith, the member for Casey, on his election today. I look forward to working closely with him to continue to have a robust parliament that debates the issues, that uncovers what needs to be uncovered and that makes sure that we have good government for the most people most of the time.

Also, can I briefly pay tribute to the member for Mackellar, the previous Speaker. I, in fact, seconded her nomination two years ago to be Speaker. She has been felled in most unfair circumstances by politics today. I listened very carefully to the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, noticing their now very generous remarks about the member for Mackellar. I am reminded of their not so generous remarks not very long ago, Mr Speaker. To the former Madam Speaker: I do pay tribute to you as the Speaker. I think you have been a great political figure over your 30-year career in Australian politics. I think you will always be remembered as a great advocate for the causes in which you believed, which happily are the causes of this side of the House. For women in parliament you have been a beacon of strength and fortitude, never flagging, despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and I pay you the most fulsome tribute for the contribution you have made to Australian public life.

Honourable members: Hear, hear!