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Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Page: 8138

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:15): On a very different and very happy note, this parliament gathers today and has the opportunity to wish a fond congratulations to Cadel Evans for his sporting achievement over the winter recess. Cadel is a grand old Welsh name meaning 'battle', and battle he did—a tremendous battle showing great perseverance—to win the Tour de France. I had the opportunity to speak to Cadel after he had won but before the final ride into Paris. I actually interrupted him when he was having a long and well-deserved hot bath. I had the opportunity to speak to him—

Mr Bowen: It was on the phone, I imagine!

Ms GILLARD: Yes, it was on the phone. Thank you to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. For an abundance of caution, I will clarify it was on the phone, he being in France and me being in Australia. I had the opportunity then to congratulate him on behalf of the nation. He was delighted but also, to use football parlance, keeping a lid on it; because, whilst of course you cannot lose at that stage of the race, you do have to successfully ride into Paris. If anything happened on the way and you did not complete the journey then the honour would not be yours. So he was keeping a lid on his enthusiasm until he had completed that leg as well.

Since then, he has come back to a tremendous homecoming in Victoria. I had the opportunity to speak to Premier Ted Baillieu this morning. He told me what a terrific event it was for Cadel and for his family, for the people of Victoria and, of course, for the people of Australia, who are all sharing in and celebrating this triumph with him.