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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 31

Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —Today we are saying farewell to some very old friends of this Parliament. I was privileged to know Tony Luchetti over this journey and I pay tribute to him. When I think of him I think of a number of qualities. I think of a man of very simple dignity-I think that shone through -of friendship. I think of a person who had a generous spirit. I think of him as Mr Lithgow. One cannot think of Lithgow without thinking of Tony Luchetti. I think of him as a man in the mould of Ben Chifley and I think of him as one of the old style Australian Labor Party members. That is how those of us who are looking at the Australian Labor Party scene would describe him. That, I think, is a high tribute to the man because he and his family played a major part in the Labor Party both organisationally and in the Parliament. He lived a long and full life; he contributed much both in local government and in Federal affairs. Because of my acquaintanceship with him I express my sympathy.

The PRESIDENT —I would like to join with my colleagues in expressing my regret at the passing of Mr Tony Luchetti with whom I served in the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party for many years. Not only was he the member for Macquarie from 1951 to 1975, a period of some 24 years, but also, as has been said, he was an alderman on the Lithgow City Council for a great number of years before he entered the parliament. I also had the honour of serving with him as a member of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party from 1962 to 1975. He was a most active parliamentarian and, for a great number of years, he served as the Labor Party's front bench spokesman on national development. Even after his retirement he took a very keen and active interest in the Labor Party's affairs. Indeed, it is sad to say that he collapsed at the Party's Conference last June at the Sydney Town Hall after he had just made an impassioned speech to the Conference about the Australian banking system.

To me it is a great pity that, although he served in the Parliament for 24 years, he never had the opportunity of becoming a Minister of the Crown. For 21 years in this place his life was spent in opposition, but when the Labor Party came to government in 1972, whilst he did not seek nomination for election to the then Cabinet, he nonetheless always expressed a plain old-fashioned view within the confines of the Labor Party and his views were always loudly and clearly heard within the confines of the Party's Caucus. As I have said, to me it is a great pity that, because of his tremendous national pride, his love of country and his tremendous capacity, he did not get the opportunity during his 24 years of service in the national Parliament to be honoured to be a Minister of the Crown. He and his wife, May, gave tremendous service to the electors of Macquarie. As Senator Sir John Carrick has said, he was commonly referred to as Mr Lithgow. Indeed, I think he and his wife were commonly referred to as Mr and Mrs Lithgow. He will be sadly missed, not only by his wife May and the members of his family, but also by all those who knew him, particularly all those who knew him so well in the Labor movement in New South Wales.