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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7807

Mr GOODENOUGH (Moore) (16:10): I join my colleagues in expressing my deepest condolences and sympathy on the passing of the late Don Randall to his wife, Julie; children, Tess and Elliot; members of his extended family; staff and close friends. There is an old saying, which goes: 'Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.' If this is anything to go by, then the collection of friends in attendance at Don's funeral, who came from far and wide across Australia, reflects the calibre of Don as an esteemed and respected character in the community.

I first encountered Don through the Liberal Party in the mid 1990s, seeing him at Liberal Party state conferences and various functions; but it was not until election night in 1998 that I began to understand his character. When it looked likely that he was going to lose the seat of Swan, he telephoned my predecessor, Dr Mal Washer, who had just been newly elected, regaining the seat of Moore for the Liberal Party from an independent as a result of a group of Machiavellian outsiders living outside the electorate of Moore who were manipulating the preselection process and consequently led to losing Moore in the 1996 election.

Don asked Mal if he would take on his existing staff, who were likely to lose their jobs. Dr Mal agreed and that was how two of Don's staff came to work in the Moore electorate office based in Joondalup. I must say that they were very good staff members. This illustrated how Don was genuinely committed to the welfare of his staff. Many of Don's former staff have gone on to serve in higher positions within government. He was a tough taskmaster who demanded excellence, but at the same time mentored and developed his staff. At the next federal election in 2001, when Don contested and won the seat of Canning, he swiftly poached his staff members back.

I got to know Don better as the years progressed, through my best friend—who is now a senator—Michaelia Cash. As part of her duties as a Senate candidate, Michaelia went out to support regional electorates and would always invite me to accompany her on the long drives to semirural areas such as Waroona, Pinjarra and Kelmscott. I fondly remember attending the Kelmscott Agricultural Show and inflating helium balloons at the Don Randall stall with Tess and other volunteers for Michaelia to hand out to children; she resembled Mary Poppins with her enthusiasm.

I enjoyed attending the Waroona branch Christmas functions, where Claire Jones would bake and decorate the best Christmas cakes as raffle prizes. One evening, it was getting dark and we were unsure of the correct turn-off to take off the Forrest Highway to get to Waroona. We managed to get the vehicle bogged on the median strip and nearly ran out of fuel as a result of backtracking. We arrived at the function half an hour late, looking very dishevelled and dusty in our formal clothes. Don was there and he gave us the most quizzical look.

I enjoyed attending Pinjarra branch functions and lunches at which Don Randall was the guest speaker. As a result, I made many good friends within the Canning division members including Ron and Sue Warren, Kristy Oosthuizen, Richard and Bev House and many other great supporters of the Liberal Party. That close connection continues to this day, I am humbled that a number of Liberal Party stalwarts from the Canning division drive more than 100 kilometres to support functions at my home. It is from visiting regional and rural electorates such as Canning that I have gained a better understanding of the wealth-creating industries and agriculture which are essential to the prosperity of all electorates.

Don's commitment to his electorate as a strong advocate and good local member must be acknowledged. I have fond memories of Don edging towards the House of Representatives doors every Thursday afternoon with his luggage a few minutes before the adjournment concluded. As soon as the bell rang, he rushed off to the airport so he could arrive home late that night and be in his electorate office first thing the next morning.

In parliament Don was an active member of a number of parliamentary friendship groups and had a good working relationship with ambassadors and consular representatives from a diverse selection of nations. At the opening of parliament he introduced me to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, and more recently he asked me to join the Cuban friendship group.

Don was a jovial character. He had a good sense of humour and was supportive of colleagues. It was a privilege to serve with Don on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Procedure. He was the chair and always gave members from both sides of the House a fair opportunity to express their views. Don also served as a mentor to new members and was always helpful.

Don regularly expressed his views in the party room—sometimes they were controversial—nevertheless he had the courage of his convictions to express his beliefs. He was a solid campaigner and chaired the federal campaign assistance program to assist marginal seats in Western Australia. We will sadly miss Don from our regular Western Australian members and senators meetings in which we discuss ways of advancing the interests of our state.

I express my deepest condolences on the passing of a truly great Western Australian in the late Don Randall.