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DEATH OF RT HON. SIR BILLY SNEDDEN
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- Question No.
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- Start of Business
- OPENING OF THE PARLIAMENT
- SWEARING-IN OF SENATORS
- ELECTION OF PRESIDENT
- PRESENTATION TO GOVERNOR-GENERAL
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S SPEECH
- COMMISSION TO ADMINISTER OATH
- GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S SPEECH
- MINISTERIAL ARRANGEMENTS
- LEADERSHIP OF THE OPPOSITION
- LEADERSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS
- LEADERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA
- ELECTION OF DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES
- NOTICES OF MOTION
- ROTATION OF SENATORS
- DAY AND HOUR OF MEETING
- DEATH OF RT HON. SIR BILLY SNEDDEN
Monday, 14 September 1987
Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate) —by leave-I move:
That the Senate expresses its deep regret at the death, on 27 June 1987, of the Rt Hon. Sir Billy Mackie Snedden, kcmg, qc, member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Bruce from 1955 to 1983, Minister of the Crown from 1966 to 1972, Leader of the Opposition from 1972 to 1975 and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1976 to 1983; places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.
Sir Billy Snedden was born in 1926 in Perth, one of six children. He got involved in politics at a very young age-15 years, I think. After the Second World War, having joined the Liberal Party of Australia in 1944, he took a law degree at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1951 and to the Victorian Bar in 1955. He became a Federal member of parliament in 1955, winning the seat of Bruce for the Liberal Party, and he held that seat through successive elections until 1983.
I think it is very important to record that during his 28 years of service in the Parliament he held a series of ministerial portfolios, including Attorney-General, Minister for Immigration, Minister for Labour and National Service and the Treasurer. He was the Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party from August 1971 till December 1972 and became its leader and Leader of the Opposition following the 1972 election. He led the Liberal Party at the general election in May 1974, an election which the Liberals lost by five seats-the closest election result since 1961. In March 1975 he lost the Liberal leadership to Mr Malcolm Fraser, and the manner in which he accepted this loss was a tribute to his innate dignity and grace. In February 1976 he became Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he occupied with dignity and impartiality. It was perhaps as Speaker that he achieved most and made his greatest contribution to the Parliament.
Following his retirement he became a company director and served on a number of boards. He was also Chairman of the Melbourne Football Club from 1980 to 1985 and he followed the fortunes of that club, I understand, for many years.
Sir Billy Snedden will be remembered as an Australian who gave a lifetime of service to his country, particularly in the parliamentary sphere, and on behalf of the Government I extend to his family our sincere sympathy in their bereavement.