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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 119


Senator TOWNLEY(10.35) —I also wish to speak very shortly about Ernest Marty who, I believe, started his lobbying work in Canberra some 27 years ago. Some of us who have been here for a fairly long time recognise that 27 years is a much longer time. I recognise that he was interested in the nuclear area, the wine growing industries, as Senator Jessop has said, the coal export area and also flying. I also have a love for flying and I once flew with him from Sydney to Melbourne. These days I suppose that that would be classed as a fringe benefit. Seeing him trying to land on the wrong air strip at that time, I was able to help him land on the right one. I was very pleased to have flown with him and he is someone who I would like to say was my friend during the time that I knew him.

I came to this chamber only 15 or so years ago and I used to think that lobbyists were a nuisance. Ernest helped me to change my attitude to lobbyists and I now realise that they are very helpful to members of parliament. He was certainly helpful in many areas. Ernest would come into my office, never in a too serious mood. He might have had something serious to talk about but he was always helpful and encouraging-the sort of person one likes to have in one's office, much more so than many other people I can think of. He helped me to change my mind about lobbyists.

Senator Jessop said that he was here in Canberra very often with his wife Judy. He was, and they were welcome in this building. Earlier tonight I was talking to ex-Senator Peter Rae who said that he was shocked to hear about what had happened to Ernest so quickly. He said that he had met him in 1968, he knew him well and he regarded him as a friend. He remembered the time that he tried to save the air truck for Australia, instead of its going somewhere else, and he also remembered when he tried to keep the manufacture of the Victa Air Tourer in Australia. Peter Rae asked me specifically-and I do it willingly-to associate his name with my remarks. As I said, Ernest and Judy Marty have been of great help to me. Ernest was a good friend and I hope that Judy will remain so. I am sad not to see him in this building this week and I pass my condolences to Judy and to his family and I hope that somehow in the fullness of time we will all recognise just what a great person he was.