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Wednesday, 10 October 1973
Page: 1085

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Senator GAIR (Queensland) - by leave- I desire to inform you, Mr President, and members of the Senate that on this day I have relinquished the position of Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Democratic» «Labor» «Party , a position which I have occupied for the last 8 years. The road has not been an easy one. There were 2 members of my Party in the Senate from 1965 to 1968. During that time we were required to keep abreast of events and a great deal of hard work was done in studying documents and other material. I think that on occasions we succeeded in stealing the initiative from the official Opposition in those days, much to its chagrin. Our numbers later increased to 5, but this is still a small number among whom to spread the work load. Nevertheless, under the circumstances I believe that we have done a reasonably good job. We placed very high- this was almost our paramount objective- in our order of priorities the belief that we should conduct ourselves responsibly, with balance and common sense and at all times having regard to the welfare of Australia and its people.

Senator McManus,who has been my deputy over that period, has been selected unanimously to fill my position. Senator Byrne from Queensland has been elected Deputy Leader. Senator Kane has been selected Secretary and Senator Little will be the Whip of the Party, although he will still receive his present salary. In June I celebrated the 41st anniversary of my election to the Queensland Parliament. So I have had a good deal of experience and I hope that I have gathered some knowledge in my years in Parliament. If I have not I have no right to be here. I will continue to interest myself in the affairs of the nation and as soon as I am properly recovered I hope that I will regain the voice that I once possessed and let it be heard.

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