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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 594

Mr PERRETT (MoretonOpposition Whip) (11:11): I want to add to the fine words from the member for Sturt about the late Senator Russell Trood, who was my constituent. I did not rely on his vote particularly to get over the line, but I found him good company, as the member for Sturt said. As a board member of the Griffith Asia Institute, where he was the director, I had a lot more to do with him after he had left parliament. We were in parliament together for a few years. But, he was a classic small 'l' liberal with the great intellectual insights that come with being an academic and obviously a go-to person when it came to looking at Asia and the challenges that have been there for many years, but also the greater opportunities that are there. In his role at the Griffith Asia Institute, he was certainly looking to make sure that Griffith University took advantage and made sure that its expertise when it came to Asia, while recognising other universities, was developed and broadcast. Russell did a great job in that role. Obviously, he was way too young an age to die from cancer. It seems like only five minutes ago that I saw him at a Griffith Asia Institute board meeting. When I heard that he was sick and then, sadly, to hear of his death, it was quite a shock.

Russell served his nation loyally and served his university, and in all those many roles as mentioned by the member for Sturt. To be a strong, progressive liberal voice is an important role in Australian politics in this contest of ideas. I think it is crucial that in the Westminster system the conservative parties have a liberal voice, a small 'l' liberal voice, because, I would suggest, they are becoming swamped by with conservatives and even worse; whereas, Russell was, I am proud to say, a Queenslander who brought a progressive voice down to Canberra. Obviously there were many things that we did not agree on, but when it came to looking at the opportunities in Asia he had a great insight and was a great guide. He was a 'gentleman', and I use that term deliberately—always a gentleman—irrespective of our differences, he was always good company. To have been a senator who served his nation loyally is a pretty good epitaph. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Dale, and his children, James and Phoebe, and I wish them all the best in this time of grieving.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Bird ): As a mark of respect, I ask all members present to rise in their places.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER : I thank the chamber.