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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 69

Senator CANAVAN (QueenslandMinister for Resources and Northern Australia) (17:14): I too would like to associate myself with the condolence remarks for former senator Russell Trood. Unlike many in this chamber, I did not know Senator Trood as well as them, but I had become friendly with Russell as he was a former senator for Queensland. I was not even involved in politics in a serious way when Senator Trood was elected to this place in 2004, but I was fortunate enough to be there in the sequel, the re-election campaign in 2010. I distinctly remember first meeting Russell in the Criterion Hotel in Rockhampton during the 2010 election. Senator Brandis was there that evening. Former senator Mason was there that evening. Current MP Barnaby Joyce was there at that dinner. They were all at that dinner seeking to get re-elected at that time under a unified LNP banner.

There were some pretty large and loud personalities there in that room—I am not looking at you, former senator Brett Mason—but it was Russell Trood that I gravitated to that evening. I felt he had such a magnetic personality. He was such a gentleman. I was just a new starter, but he was very engaging with me. He had this way about him, almost a magical way of attracting people to him in a way that you could not but appreciate and find welcoming.

It was very clear, speaking to him, what a well-read and intelligent person he was. I did not realise how smart he was until I heard Senator Brandis mention that he realised he should not pursue a career in the law and go and do other more productive things with himself, which he did. He certainly did, and we very much miss his contribution in this nation now. As others have suggested, he made just as much, if not a greater, contribution outside this place as in it. He would be a very valuable voice in the world right now in favour of openness and the importance of international relations and a strong voice in favour of our country being an active and engaging participant in our region.

I was looking forward to catching up with former senator Trood last year, when I spoke at a Griffith Asia Institute function. It was only then that I realised the gravity of his illness. It was very sad to hear about, because he certainly had a lot to give and was giving a lot through that institute. To Dr Kathleen Turner and her team at the Griffith Asia Institute I express my deep condolences. I am sure that Russell Trood's legacy will live on through that institute. Its work is continuing and, I suggest, is even more important now than perhaps it was a few years ago.

We could also use Russell in other ways. As Senator Hanson mentioned, he did actually beat Pauline Hanson and One Nation. We could certainly use those talents as well, but we will have to persist without his experience, his guidance and his good nature. My deep condolences go to Russell's family and I pass on all our sympathy to them and hope that they get some solace from the contribution that he has made in this place and the number of lives he has touched through the work he has done here and elsewhere.