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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7774


Mr BRIGGS (MayoAssistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (13:30): I rise to add to the terrific speeches that have been given over the last two hours, from the Prime Minister down to the member for Brand, who gave a very eloquent address on his friend Don Randall. Don Randall was a good man. He was a tough man who fought, as many ministerial counterparts have already mentioned, very hard for his electorate. We shared a love of golf and the ongoing challenge that that game presents to our character and spirit. We shared a love of red wine. Don was probably one of the greatest supporters of my electorate, truth be told, and the many wine businesses in my electorate!

We learned a lot from Don on how to run an effective ongoing campaign in a marginal seat by the way he represented his people first and foremost in this place. As a new minister last year, I was taught a lesson by Don on representing his people because of a particular constituent who he was representing to have a vehicle imported under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act, which I have authority for. The advice from my department was not to agree with the request of Don's constituent. There were quite difficult circumstances for that constituent. Don and I had several meetings, but the advice was consistent. I rang Don. I was very nervous about ringing Don because I knew the answer I would get from him. In that phone conversation there was no yelling. There was no anger. Don simply said, 'Well, Minister, it is ultimately up to you.' That made me think and remember the actual job that we as ministers have here. It is not necessarily always to be told what to do by our bureaucrats or departments but to make our best judgements. Don, in that instance, fought for his constituent, and his best judgement was right. Ultimately, I agreed with his position. I think, as many other colleagues have mentioned, that reflects how Don went about his job as the member for Canning, as a Western Australian and importantly, as the Leader of the House said, from our perspective, as part of the Liberal family.

We in the Liberal Party are all sad for the loss of Don. He was a fierce advocate for our side of politics. Politics is ultimately a battle of ideas and ideals, as the new Speaker commented earlier. Don was a fierce advocate for our ideas and our ideals. He stood on the right side of many of those debates. He will be missed in our party room. He was a good man who left us too early. I say to his staff, I share your grief. Don, I am sure your family will miss you immeasurably, as we all here will also.