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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7777


Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (13:46): I want today in particular to obviously note the contribution of someone I consider to be a former colleague, whom we are here respecting, regardless of politics and who was a member of this parliament, and to honour what he has contributed.

At this point, I think very deeply of the family: Mrs Randall, Elliott and Tess—and I deliberately mention Elliott first, because, in a family where sibling position is often contested, I respect that from time to time it is good to get your name up the pecking order, and I say that as the eldest born. I know in this place that consumes so much, particularly having heard, seen and known of the very onerous demands it places on family, that, as much as we respect the contribution of Don Randall, we also honour the fact that you made sacrifices to allow him to do all those things that people have spoken about today and remember warmly of him. He had to make sacrifices, and he was not always there as the husband and father that many others can rely upon, because of the dedication of his service. So, as much as we dedicate to him, we dedicate to you all here today.

If I may say so, Mrs Randall, people will remember your husband for many things. I remember him being softly spoken. This will sound, to some who have heard his robust contributions as has been reflected on, like not necessarily a thing they would remember. But I remember it for this reason: he was softly spoken with strong belief. He was softly spoken because he would also respect other views. He would speak with you if you had a different view, and his voice was never raised. In a place marked by raised voices and the fury of raised voices, this is something that I will always remember and respect him for. It is something that I think we all can learn from—that, despite the strength of belief and the vigour of that belief, you do so in such a way that you try to actually learn. He and I did have differences—today is not the day to mark, remember or recount those differences—but I will always remember his approach and use it as something not just for remembering but for ourselves so that we are better off through that memory. His mark on me, as an individual parliamentarian of a different political party, is to remember that.

There have been many things recounted about him today, and this is only my modest contribution in his broader memory. If I may say this, Prime Minister, I am not often one to compliment you, and I do not think you are troubled by that, but I do respect the fact that a person in your position has been here for the duration, and, Mrs Randall, I think this reflects on this side the Prime Minister's respect for your husband. I do not say that, and please do not read that, as any other thing but that, as much as we are combatants, I do respect the fact that you have lost one of your own, but we have lost a parliamentarian, and we have also lost an Australian.

The most eerie thing about these contributions, if I can end on this point, is that that clock does not record any time. It just stands still; every time we have these condolences, I think of that point. It reminds us we do not have time, but your husband always used every minute of his time and every second of his time doing what he believed was right, and he has no need for regret, because he did, with his full heart and his full sincerity, everything he could for the people he represented, regardless of our political differences. This is something that we should always be grateful for. Thank you.