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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11660

Ms LIVERMORE (Capricornia) (21:16): I move:

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

The member for Chisholm has done me the great honour of asking me to move a nomination for her to be the Speaker of this place. It is a great pleasure and indeed a great honour to do that for her and to do it on behalf of my colleagues here in the Labor Party and, I am sure, across the chamber as well. Together, the member for Chisholm and I were elected to this parliament in 1998. In that time she has been a very loyal friend and a greatly respected colleague. All of us who have been on this journey together since 1998, including the Prime Minister, have come to appreciate and to know Anna's great qualities—those qualities that we have seen in action as both the Deputy Speaker and, in effect, standing in as the Speaker of this parliament for the last few months.

There are no doubts in anyone's mind about the member for Chisholm's ability to do this job. Indeed, there are no doubts in anyone's mind about her claim to this job. It is a terrific thing to see this come about this evening. In saying that, it is correct to acknowledge that this is probably not the way that she might have chosen for it to come about. There is no argument from any of us that this has been a difficult and unusual day in what has been a very difficult and unusual term of this parliament. But that is not to take anything away from the member for Chisholm as she steps up to accept this the highest role in the Parliament of Australia.

As I said, we came into this place together in 1998, and one of the things that really gives the member for Chisholm such great standing to take on the position of Speaker is her experience as the member for Chisholm. There is no better local member in this place than the member for Chisholm. She is hardworking. She is one of her electorate. She is there for issues and events in her electorate big and small. The people of Chisholm have recognised that and, I believe, consider themselves very fortunate to have her as their member of parliament. As a parliament we are now very fortunate to have her as the Speaker.

As we honour the member for Chisholm and celebrate her elevation to the very high office of Speaker, when I say that this is not exactly the way that might have wanted or imagined that she would come into this position I think it is right to also acknowledge that there are some people sitting in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne sharing that feeling very strongly as well. I am sure the member for Chisholm's loving family—her husband Steve and two beautiful children, Madeleine and John—would be wishing very much that they were here in the chamber with her. But they will be very, very proud of you, Anna, as we all are, as you take on this position.

In closing, I really do applaud the way that you have conducted yourself in the last few years. Being the Deputy Speaker was something that you took on and applied yourself to in the same way that you did being the member for Chisholm. You got stuck in. You were such a team player. You were really there looking out for all of us in this parliament and really fulfilling your role exceptionally well to make sure the parliament functioned to the highest possible standards. We have seen you do that in the most difficult circumstances in the last few months. Member for Chisholm, I wish you all the best in your new role as the Speaker and we look forward to serving under you and to serving the people of Australia as you bring the parliament to even higher standards in the way that we know you can do so well.

The Clerk : Is the motion seconded?