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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6511

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:05): I thank the Prime Minister for her fine speech in tribute of a great Australian and a great Liberal. Like her, I rise to support Michael Hodgman, the so-called 'Mouth from the South' who nevertheless has not been stilled, because his voice still echoes around our nation in the form of his son, Will, who I hope might soon become the next Premier of Tasmania.

Although Michael was much more than a member of parliament, he certainly was a parliamentarian of rare distinction. He served a span of 43 years in total in state and national parliament, including 12 years in this place and three years as a minister. As the Prime Minister has mentioned, his great-uncle, his father, his brother and his son all served in state or national parliaments, so it is a family tradition to be dedicated to the service of our nation just as his life was dedicated to the service of our community.

He did have high standards; he once joked that he drew the line at serving in the Senate!

Government members interjecting

Mr ABBOTT: I see members opposite agree! At different times in his life he was a barrister, a sailor, a boxer and a jockey as well as a long-serving member of parliament.

He not only defended Chopper Read for free, but did him the honour of giving him, as the Prime Minister has mentioned, a Liberal Party tie. Who said the Liberal Party is not a broad church! He was a character in an era of blander and safer politics.

We grieve with his family, including his brother Patrick who is in the gallery today, I believe. We cherish his memory and we will do our best to do him proud by working for the election of his son as the Premier of Tasmania.

Honourable members: Hear, hear!

The SPEAKER: As a mark of respect, I ask all present to signify their approval by rising in their places.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

The SPEAKER: I thank the House.

Debate adjourned.