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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11668

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (22:13): I rise to congratulate the member for Maranoa on his election. Obviously we do not see eye to eye on a range of political issues, but I have always found him one of the gentlemen in this parliament. I have had the opportunity to speak to him about a range of issues. He has always shown a great deal of courtesy when he has raised issues that are dear to his heart, including some representations he made to me about distance education, which I remember in particular—and the government amended its policy because of the representations by him and a number of others in this parliament—so I am sure that he will serve in this role with great distinction. He is someone for whom there have been some twists and turns in the journey as well, but we welcome his election. On behalf of the government and the federal Labor Party, I can certainly say that we will look forward to working with him. The same caveat applies as I said to Madam Speaker: I cannot always promise you perfection in behaviour, but we will do our very best to work with you in a spirit of goodwill and decency.