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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 239

The SPEAKER (21:13): The member for Griffith is a man who is out of the ordinary. He evoked an amazing reaction in the chamber tonight. He laid his emotions bare, and we have also seen that from those others who have spoken.

I first came to know you, Kevin, on the television, when I used to fill in for Joe Hockey when he could not make it. We would spar a bit, but then we came to know each other better. I had the delight of meeting your grandchild, and I talked about mine. There are many policy areas that will go on being debated and where there will be furious disagreement for years to come. But there is something about an emotional tie, and you have sparked something tonight by speaking to the parliament in the way you did. You sparked an empathy across the chamber that says something of the human side of those of us who come and seek to serve our nation in this place, where just over 1,000 people in the entire history of the Commonwealth parliament have served, and know the honour that it is to serve. In the concept of serving the nation there is no higher aspiration.

In your candid baring of your emotions, and indeed part of your soul, you have evoked that spirit that I think binds the parliament, whereas the fast and furious politics that divide us so often are the reality of the body politic. Yet, to see that humanity, and the response to that humanity, has, I think, given us another dimension tonight.

Kevin, enjoy your next life. Be returned to the bosom of your family, and enjoy.