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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13853

Mr BROADBENT (McMillan) (09:37): Having come to this place in 1990 and been removed a number of times since and now being back in the House, I have been here for some historic moments: the removal of one of the most popular prime ministers this nation has ever seen to be replaced by his former Treasurer, the changes in leadership, changes in Speakers and the removal of a Speaker—although it seemed to be a resignation at the time, with the replacement of that Speaker by one from another party, which was unusual at the time.

I met Harry Jenkins when I came here in 1990, a man of great integrity with a work ethic par excellence. We struck up a very close working friendship, even though he was a member of the Labor Party. He was chairman in one of my early committees and I worked very closely with him. But one thing that I knew was that he had three priorities. First was his family and the people of Scullin who he represented. Second was his other family, which was the Labor Party. His integrity, and seeing the Labor Party as a family, was always going to be his first and paramount response in this parliament: to his party and its best interests. No-one would know that like Harry knows that.

I saw that a note was passed to you just a few moments ago, Mr Deputy Speaker, which you received gratefully. For the Speaker to resign and go to the floor of the House to get a number for the Labor Party is not exactly what you would expect of the integrity of Harry Jenkins. However, I put to the group here in this chamber that this may not bode well for my side of politics.

So I stand at this historic moment, recognising the integrity of Harry Jenkins and knowing that he will enter the floor of the House and he will, once again, play the role on behalf of his constituency and his party that he has always played. His integrity as Speaker has been above reproach and the way he has handled himself in this 43rd Parliament is only as we would expect of a man of his integrity and great character.