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Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Page: 8134


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (13:55): I rise to support the fine words of the Prime Minister in tribute to and commemoration of the life of Clyde Holding. As well as serving for two decades as a member and minister in this House, he was of course the leader of the Victorian opposition from 1967 to 1977. These were, as some of us might remember, difficult times for the Australian Labor Party, particularly in Victoria. He was, we understand, a voice of reason and decency in a party which, at that time and in that place, was not always noted for these qualities. For instance, Bob Hawke, someone who many of us know and all of us like, said of Mr Holding that he faced not only the difficulty of the split arising from the emergence of the DLP but also the incubus of a way out left administration. Mr John Cainsaid of Mr Holding that he was one of the few politically competent and sensible people in the Victorian parliamentary party and had stood up to some of the thugs in the party. I think it is appropriate for people on this side of the chamber to salute courage and integrity on the other side of the chamber. He was obviously a man of distinction and achievement. Public life has lost a man of good character, and I join with the Prime Minister and convey to his family and friends the condolences of the Liberal Party and the National Party in this parliament.