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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13798


Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (14:12): Mr Speaker, on indulgence, I congratulate you on your election to high office. As the Leader of the House I have worked well with you as the Deputy Speaker and I look forward to continuing to work with you as the Speaker—notwithstanding that so far, I note, the scoreboard reads: one point of order defeated and none carried. I hope to get the occasional win from my points of order over the years. I also want to note that the 34 occasions that you have reminded the House I have been excluded from it were prior to my holding the high office of Leader of the House of Representatives.

Mr Speaker, I think you have demonstrated an ability to chair in an impartial fashion. I have always appreciated the fact that your rulings have been sincere. Your knowledge of the parliament and your respect for this great institution of parliament I think makes you an ideal candidate for Speaker.

I say to the Deputy Speaker, Anna Burke: congratulations on your election to high office. You are returning to a position that you held with distinction in the past and I have no doubt that you will hold it with distinction into the future.

To the member for Maranoa: I congratulate you on your re-election as the Second Deputy Speaker. I have also had the privilege of being welcomed by you into your outstanding electorate, which is very different from the inner city area of Sydney that I represent. You are someone who brings credit to this parliament by the way that you carry yourself as the member for Maranoa and also as the Second Deputy Speaker. I have the utmost respect for you as a member of parliament. I say to the former Speaker, Harry Jenkins: it is often a difficult job to be Manager of Opposition Business or Leader of the House in any parliament and dealing with the Speaker. You have had, however, an extremely difficult job, presiding over a parliament in which the government has not had an absolute majority in this House. You have done so with integrity. You have done so in a way that has lifted up the standards of this parliament. You were always prepared to act as an independent Speaker—even in the last parliament. You did not need a hung parliament to know that it was your task to act independently and to uphold the standards in the parliament.

I look forward now to being able to have a beer with you as a caucus colleague. It is terrific to welcome you back into the Labor family. It is a Labor family in which the name 'Jenkins' is one of the most distinguished names that we have. I congratulate you on your service to this parliament and look forward to your return as a servant not only of this parliament but also of the great party to which I belong.