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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13793

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayLeader of The Nationals) (13:30): Mr Speaker, may I also congratulate you on your election to office. You are and always have been in this parliament my electorate neighbour and I wish you well in the high office which you have now been elected to. You follow Mr Jenkins into this position. Mr Jenkins has been a remarkable Speaker. I certainly hold him in the highest regard. He has held the office of Speaker in perhaps the most difficult and challenging of all parliaments, one in which neither he nor the government could be absolutely assured of their numbers—they did not lose too often but never could absolutely be assured of the numbers. He carried the responsibilities of the office well and really added to the parliament because of his own manner and the way in which he held the office. He demonstrated always good humour, tolerance and wise judgment. In a sense, he was born to be Speaker and he fulfilled every possible expectation that I am sure his family, his party and, indeed, this parliament could have expected of him.

He gained, in my view, his great authority in the chair because of his superlative understanding of the standing orders and the accuracy of his rulings. We may not have always been in agreement with them, but he always had an arguable case. It is his superior understanding of the standing orders that means he deserves to be numbered amongst the very greatest of Speakers that our parliament has known. For you, Mr Speaker, it is almost an impossible task to follow your predecessor. We respect the office and we wish you well in the position you hold.

The SPEAKER: I thank the leader.