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Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Page: 5

Mr GEORGANAS (11:24 AM) —Clerk of the House and members, I move:

That the honourable member for Scullin do take the chair of this House as Speaker.

It is a true honour and a great delight to nominate a most distinguished and respected member of our parliament, the Hon. Harry Jenkins, the member for Scullin, as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 43rd Parliament of Australia. Harry has now been elected 10 times as the member for Scullin, beginning with the 1986 by-election, when he took over the role from his father, Dr Harry Jenkins Sr, who was himself the member for Scullin from 1969 to 1986 and Speaker of this House from 1983 to 1986.

Harry was born in Melbourne. Before entering parliament he studied science at the Australian National University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. He also worked as a public servant for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Harry’s involvement in his local community began well before he entered parliament. He was a councillor with the Whittlesea Shire Council from 1979 to 1986 and then president of the shire from 1984 to 1985.

As the member for Scullin for the past 24 years, Harry has committed himself to representing his electorate and the people of Scullin. The overwhelming support he receives at each election really reflects that commitment and the hard work that he performs within his electorate for his constituents.

In parliament Harry’s greatest contribution has undoubtedly been that toward the speakership, beginning with his election as Deputy Speaker in 1993, through to 1996, and as Second Deputy Speaker from 1996 to 2008. We all know Harry’s saintly patience, his exhaustive knowledge of the standing orders and his even-handedness in the chair have earned him his reputation and the respect of colleagues on both sides of the House. The dignity and integrity with which he performs his role make him a role model for all members. Most importantly, in the execution of his duties Harry’s razor sharp wit and well-developed sense of humour have the ability to bring the House together even when tempers fray and the solemn business of government threatens to overwhelm.

In my view—and I am sure it is the view of many in this House—there is no-one in this parliament who is more qualified or deserving of the speakership role than Harry or who will bring to the House the experience and stability that the so-called new paradigm will demand. If there is another grand final draw on Saturday, Harry might be asked to decide that one as well! In making this nomination for the position, I wish the member for Scullin every success. I know that he will serve the parliament and, through it, our nation extremely well.

The Clerk —Is the motion seconded?