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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Page: 3101

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:00): I move:

That the House records its deep regret at the death on 12 March 2012, of the Honourable Douglas Barr Scott, former Senator for New South Wales in 1970 and from 1974 to 1985, former Deputy President of the Senate from 1978 to 1979 and former Federal Minister for Special Trade Representations from 1979 to 1980, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Douglas was born on 12 May 1920 in Adelaide, educated at Scotch College in Adelaide and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney. Before entering politics Douglas was a farmer and a grazier. During World War II he served as a member of the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve from 1941 to 1945, being discharged at the rank of lieutenant. Douglas was initially elected to the Senate for a very brief period of 3½ months in 1970 and re-entered the Senate in 1974, where he served until 1985. He held the positions of Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman of Committees from 1978 to 1979, Minister for Special Trade Representations from 1979 to 1980 and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Resources from 1979 to 1980 in the Fraser government. During his time in the Senate he served on numerous committees. These included the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare and the Senate Standing Committee on Publications, to name just a few. Douglas led parliamentary delegations to South-East Asia, a resources mission to the European Economic Community countries and he attended Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conferences in Mauritius and Nairobi. He also held parliamentary positions in the Senate of Leader and Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia, formerly the National Country Party.

Douglas Barr Scott was a person held in affection and with respect on both sides of the chamber in which he served. In his valedictory from the Senate he recalled that Labor senators Don Grimes and John Button wrote to him after a week or so when he had acted as president saying that they had determined to support him because they liked the way he read the prayers. To have John Button gently tease you was one of the highest honours my party could bestow in those days, so we can take that as a mark of respect and bipartisan support.

On behalf of the government I offer condolences to his wife, Pamela, to his children, Diana and Andrew, and to their extended family and friends.