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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 25

Senator PETER RAE —by leave -Although my Leader moved a motion in relation to both former senators, I wished Senator Grimes to speak first in relation to Robert Herbert Lacey, or Bert Lacey as he was known. He was a senator for Tasmania from 1965 to 1971 and he died in November last year at the age of 84. I had the pleasure of serving in this chamber with him for three years. As I knew him both here and generally in relation to politics in Tasmania, he was a quiet, gentle man but, as Senator Grimes has said, he was a very firm contributor both to his Party and to his constituents. He was a firm contributor to his union members when he was the Australian Workers Union organiser from 1938 to 1946 and General Secretary to the Australian Labor Party from 1947 to 1965, to the electors of Denison when he served as a member of the House of Assembly and later to the electors of Tasmania from 1965 to 1971.

As I recall Bert Lacey's interests in this chamber, he was particularly interested in the welfare of his fellow man. Social services and the care of Commonwealth prisoners were two of the things to which I recall his paying particular attention. He expressed his concern in relation to the Vietnam War, a matter of considerable concern to many people in the period during which he served in this chamber. He also, like former Senator Wordsworth, did not forget his duty to look after the economic interests of Tasmania. He was particularly concerned about shipping. He was a quiet man of dignity who served his fellow man throughout his long life. Opposition senators join in paying tribute to the lifetime of dedication to public welfare displayed by Bert Lacey and in expressing our condolences to his widow and his family.