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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 54


Senator HAMER —Mr President, I would like to add my congratulations on your taking this office, which is one of great dignity and importance, and one that many people seem to aspire to and also leave very reluctantly. I think your predecessor, Senator Douglas McClelland, was the first President ever to resign, so it seems that people, having got there, rather like it.

It is interesting and potentially difficult to have a President and a Deputy President from different parties. I think it has worked in the last few years because your predecessor, who was an outstanding President, behaved in regard to this chamber and always towards me with dignity, trust and fairness. Mr President, I am sure I can expect the same from you, and while that continues I pledge you my loyalty.

The Appropriations and Staffing Committee is a very important committee. It is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the executive government comes across with the money to run this particular chamber in the interests not of the executive government but of parliamentary democracy in this country. A number of challenges will need to be faced by you and by that Committee in the coming months, challenges which, of course, were also met by your predecessors. Mr President, as I said, you have worked on the New Parliament House Committee. Your election to the Presidency of the Senate will presumably mean that you will take the chair in another place up the hill-that is to say, if an election does not take place beforehand and there is some slip along the way.