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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11959

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (11:59): Thank you for the opportunity to add my thanks to those who have already added their thanks, here, today, to a big man. Joe is a big man and he has shown his bigness in these difficult events. He has shown his bigness in character in so many ways, to so many people, over such a long time. He is big in size and stature but he is big in character.

He is big in a number of other ways as well, and there have been many reflections on Theodore Roosevelt. Those of you who visit my office will know there are quotes by Theodore Roosevelt around the walls. The first thing that comes to mind about Joe is his big heart, which others have mentioned. Roosevelt said: 'No-one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.' And no-one was ever in doubt over how much Joe Hockey cared. His big heart is shown in his love of his family, which we have all observed and marvelled at and been humbled by. If we could only show, in the same way, the dedication he has to his family to our own families. He provides a great example of a husband, a father and a son. All of your family can celebrate your achievements and the bigness of your heart, Joe.

There is his love of family but also his love of friends. Mateship is the Australian word for love and, in that sense, Joe has no peer as a mate. He has shown his mateship to his friends in extraordinary order. His love of community, I will come to a little later on. Joe is passionate about his community. He always has been. It is the first reason he has always been in this place and, as a former state director, mate, I have to commend you on always talking to your electorate—up to your very last time, here, in this place.

He has a love of country. I served with Joe on the National Security Committee of Cabinet. He is a passionate Australian. His first loyalty and allegiance—there is no second, third, fourth or fifth with Joe hockey. His loyalty and allegiance is as a patriot and as a passionate Australian. It is not just shown through his great support of the Wallabies and his many other sporting interests. On that committee of cabinet, where being a patriot is your first responsibility, on every occasion and in every measure Joe was more than up to that task.

It was also his big heart and his love of fellow human beings. I have held some difficult portfolios that have dealt with difficult issues. Joe was a source of encouragement and support to me, in those portfolios, and was able to bring to our conversations, whether privately or more broadly, his big heart and his love for others. In the area of refugee and humanitarian work, he always stood up. He stood up to John Howard on these issues. We can remember when he famously recounted those events, here in this House, in that very long debate we had on those issues. He shared those with me, and I will always be grateful for that element being brought into our conversations and relationship.

Joe is a man with big humour and big passions. We have all enjoyed that. Joe and I particularly enjoyed our rivalry over the Southern Districts Sydney university Rugby challenges. The one I think we enjoyed most is the one where Joe and I had made a bet on how many times he could say 'Captain Emad' in addresses to this House. There was a bottle of red on the back of that—and Joe more than fulfilled, in that respect.

He is also a man of big shoes to fill, and it is my task to fill those big shoes. His big shoes are in so many areas. As a local member of parliament Joe has been an outstanding success, and I have said it on a number of occasions this morning. The people of North Sydney will miss you, Joe, because you have been such a fantastic local member. That has always been part of your passion. The Armenian community, particularly, in your electorate and surrounding areas will have lost a great advocate in this place. It is up to the rest of us to show that same passion you have for respecting the Armenian heritage and what happened, those many years ago, and standing up for those issues in this place. To that community, you will be forever remembered.

As a member of a government you are—without question—the best tourism minister this place ever saw and is ever likely to see, particularly on our side of politics. There were good tourism ministers of the other side. John Brown comes to mind. But you are his match, you are his equal and you are his better. The tourism industry will never forget your contribution. I was serving in it at the time, with the white paper, those many years ago. You set the standard. You have set standards in all the portfolios you have held, and it is for us to measure up.

You showed your leadership as Treasurer on the G20, on the issues you mentioned with multinational tax avoidance. You stepped up to the plate and were the voice of optimism in the world economy, the bright shining face on the opportunities for jobs and on the responsibility treasurers and foreign ministers have. On top of that, there is our shared passion for the Western Sydney airport, over many years, going back to the days when you chaired the consultative committee, for Sydney Airport, as a backbencher. To see this come to fruition will be tremendous. There must be something out there that we will be able to name after Hockey—it should be the Hockey terminal or the Hockey car park. You can take your pick, mate! Joe's passion for the Western Sydney airport is what has brought this to reality and will see it come to reality.

In conclusion, I will say that he is a man of big vision who followed another one of Theodore Roosevelt's pieces of advice: 'Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.' That is what you have always done, Joe. Thank you.