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Wednesday, 10 December 1986
Page: 3766


Senator COLLARD (Leader of the National Party of Australia) —by leave-My National Party colleagues and I have also heard the same rumour that seems to be running around this chamber tonight, and we wish to join the two previous speakers in the kind words they have said about you and Lorna. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with you in your years as President of the Senate-as you rightly said, the highest office we can give you.

I can recall, before I even knew you very well, that when I was elected to this place, friends of mine who are in business-they are, of course, on my side of politics-and who had dealings with you when you were a Minister had only kind and good words to say about you and about the way you handled your ministerial office. Those words still ring in my ears and, indeed, nothing you have done since then has let me believe that they were other than true.

Senator Chaney quite rightly talked at length about your handling of this chamber, and I can only concur completely. I think it must also be recognised that the President's job is not just running this unruly mob in here but that, as one of the Presiding Officers, you are also responsible for the running of this Parliament House. That you have done so at a time of increased complexities and new technologies, when the demands on our services are greater and consequently the demands on the services provided by you and your officers are greater, and that you have tried to meet all those demands in an inadequate and outmoded building, is a credit to you and your staff. On top of that, as one of the Presiding Officers you are also responsible for all that is waiting for us in the new and permanent Parliament House. We are not sure yet-indeed, you will then be long since gone from here-whether we will praise you or curse you when we get there. I think, Mr President, that if what you have done for us here in the circumstances is any indication, we will be more than adequately looked after when we get further up the hill.

So, on behalf of my colleagues, it does give me a great deal of pleasure to join in wishing you the best and thanking you for all you have done. I am quite sure that wherever you may go-I have also heard rumours, as you have, of where you might go-you will serve the people of Australia well, once again, in a completely different position but a position in which you will do us proud, do yourself and Lorna proud and, indeed, serve the people of this nation for still another period.