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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11663

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (21:33): This has been a remarkable parliament in so many ways, and it is particularly remarkable in this sense: it is the first time in the history of the Commonwealth that we have had three speakers in the life of a single parliament. I hope, Madam Speaker, that you will learn from the example of the first Speaker of this parliament, the member for Scullin. I honour your words of respect earlier this evening for the first Speaker of this parliament, and I also honour your words of sympathy and appreciation for the second Speaker of this parliament. Whatever we think of the second Speaker of this parliament, this is a tragic night for him and for his family.

Madam Speaker, I regret the fact that you were unable to be the Deputy Speaker earlier in this parliament because the politics of this parliament meant that your own party did not see fit to nominate you as Deputy Speaker. I regret the fact that you were unable to accept our nomination as Speaker back in November of last year—I think you would have done an outstanding job in the chair after the member for Scullin was for one reason or another unable to continue. I do regret the fact that you have come late to this chair; nevertheless, let me say that you have served very competently in the time you have acted as Speaker in this chamber, and I am confident that you will discharge your duties faithfully and honourably for the duration of this parliament.