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Thursday, 12 March 2009
Page: 2545


Mr TRUSS (Leader of the Nationals) (3:51 PM) —Madam Deputy Speaker, on indulgence, can I join the Leader of the House in paying tribute to Mike Taylor on the announcement of his retirement. I thank the minister for making reference to Mr Taylor’s long service. Mr Taylor was actually secretary of my department for most of the time I was a minister. He came in initially as secretary to the department of agriculture. He moved to the department of transport and, about six months after that, I became the minister for transport. So we became very good friends. We are only a few days apart in age—which I perhaps should not confess to on this occasion!—and we travelled quite a bit around the world together. He is an extraordinary person to travel with. He is hyperactive in every sense and there are always things happening when Mike is around.

I thought that his appointment added a great deal to the Commonwealth Public Service. He came from the Victorian Public Service, so he had a good background in administration of government departments. He had been working in rural industry organisations in Victoria before he went into the Public Service in Victoria, so he had a good background there too. As a Commonwealth public servant, he had the trust of the states, which was very important in many of the negotiations that were underway at the time. I was pleased when the new federal government offered him another term, which he accepted, although that term is now only going to be quite a short one.

Mike Taylor commuted from Melbourne for most of his time in the position, and that was an extra burden. He is a good friend. He has made a very worthwhile contribution to the Public Service in Canberra. His public life has been recognised with the Public Service Medal and quite a number of other honours. I think that the whole House and indeed the processes of government, both at the Com-monwealth level and in Victoria, are indebted to him for his contribution.

My very best wishes go to Mike and his wife, Eve, and his family on his retirement. I am sure that Mike will not stand still—he is not the sort of guy who is capable of standing still—and that he will continue to make a significant contribution to public policy in the years ahead. We wish him good health and every happiness for whatever the future may hold.