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Monday, 7 July 2014
Page: 4158

Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (12:04): On behalf of the government, I congratulate Senator Marshall on his election as our Deputy President and Chair of Committees.

Senator Marshall is very well qualified to be our Deputy President, having been a Temporary Chairman of Committees in the Senate since 2003. He has also served on several committees involved in the management of this place, including the House Committee and the Standing Committee on Appropriations and Staffing, which are good committees to be on to get an understanding of the mysteries of the operational management of the Department of the Senate and Parliament House. He has also served as a chairman of the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee, enduring my questioning for hours on end and with the patience of Job.

Senator Marshall is a senator who respects the traditions and practices of this place and is very well qualified to undertake this new task. Though, I must say, in all the years I have been fortunate enough to be a senator, I have never had the least desire, with no disrespect, to sit between the clerks at the table, dealing with amendments and amendments to amendments that fall to the Chairman of Committees. It takes a certain skill, patience and procedural knowledge, and I envy those senators who undertake that task well. I am sure Senator Marshall will.

Mr President, I assure you and Senator Marshall that you will both have our support in the chair and in your stewardship of this unique and important institution, the Australian Senate. I wish Senator Marshall well.