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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13795


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (13:59): Turning to another topic—on indulgence, if I may—firstly, Mr Speaker, I congratulate Anna Burke on her election as Deputy Speaker. We all know what a fantastic job she did on the last occasion, and I know she will do a fantastic job on this occasion too.

Mr Speaker, dealing with a separate topic and with something that I know is of concern to you and to Ms Burke, I acknowledge the sad news that we have received this morning of the death of Maureen Larkham. Members will remember Maureen as chief attendant in the Main Committee. One of the reasons I looked over at the Deputy Speaker is that she has presided there on many occasions. The parliamentary assistants from around the parliament will remember Maureen very honourably. She was a friendly person, she was valued as a mentor to many of them and she played a role in assisting them with starting their careers in this place. Our thoughts are with her husband, Geoff, her children and her grandchildren today. On behalf of all members of the House, I say to all of our attendants pursuing their duties in this parliament that we are very sorry to hear this news of loss and we are grieving with them. We all are very much focused on this loss and also on the circumstances of her family at this time.

The SPEAKER: I am sure that all honourable members associate themselves with the remarks of the Prime Minister.