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Thursday, 14 February 2008
Page: 474


Dr JENSEN (12:43 PM) —On 17 January 2008 the Western Australian parliament lost a popular member and colleague, and Western Australia lost one of its sporting heroes: Trevor Sprigg MLA died suddenly at the age of 61. Trevor leaves his wife, Lyn, five adult children and six grandchildren, along with many good friends and colleagues who will feel the loss of Trevor and miss him dearly. Trevor’s eldest son said he was surprised at Trevor’s reputation as a hard man on the footy ground. He knew his dad had a softer side. He knew the man who shed tears of pride when the national anthem was played and loved nothing more than playing footy and cricket with his grandchildren in the backyard. I am proud to say that Trevor Sprigg was a good friend, and it is here today that I honour his memory and recall him as a larger-than-life character who achieved success in several different careers throughout his life.

Trevor said in his maiden speech to the Western Australian parliament that it seemed to him that his destiny was to be involved in representing people somewhere along the line. He certainly spent his life doing that. When you look at Trevor Sprigg’s life achievements, he fulfilled his destiny of service to the community and the people of Western Australia for a long time. Trevor began his working career as a high school teacher, and in fact one of my staff members proudly informed me that she had been one of his students. Trevor encouraged, cajoled and trained his students to achieve their highest potential. It was an indication of what was to come in his later sporting career. Most Western Australians know Trevor as a champion footballer who held all positions associated with his beloved footy. He was a player, coach, team manager and chairman of selectors at various clubs, including the West Coast Eagles in the early 1990s. A born sportsman, he found the time to play first-class cricket and was awarded life membership of the East Fremantle Football Club, the East Mercantile Cricket Association and the East Fremantle Cricket Association. Later in his sporting career he was a consultant to the WA Football Commission on the formation of the Fremantle Dockers. If that is not enough for one lifetime, Trevor Sprigg was the promotions manager for the Swan Brewery, controlling a budget of $4 million per annum for sporting grants and scholarships. Never letting an opportunity go by, in his spare time Trevor was a part-time football commentator on radio as well as TV and in addition was a sports writer for the Sunday Times and the Melbourne Age.

Trevor was elected to parliament in 2005 as the member for Murdoch, within my electorate of Tangney. From the moment he was sworn in he hit the ground running and proved to be an energetic, enthusiastic and committed representative. On the field he was an uncompromising defender—and he carried that into politics. He was an uncompromising defender of the people of Murdoch on such matters as the controversial and disastrous deletion of the Fremantle Eastern Bypass and Roe Highway stage 8, childhood obesity, the expansion of St John of God Hospital and the encroachment of large power lines in his suburbs. He paid attention to the details, looked after his electorate’s concerns and was always available to his constituents. It was a testament to his strength of character and the respect he enjoyed from his parliamentary colleagues that he was nominated opposition whip, a role he accepted with much pride and capability. His commitment to the Liberal Party was such that he was rushing back from an interrupted holiday to attend an important party room meeting. He was also concerned with an attempt by those who coveted his seat to remove him—in the guise of a redistribution—from most of the area he had represented so well. All these matters were weighing heavily on him. In closing, I will say that Trevor was a man of great humour who had a great commitment to his constituents and a great love for his family. What you saw was what you got. The new Liberal candidate, Christian Porter, will no doubt represent Murdoch with great distinction, and I am sure he will appreciate that he has very large shoes to fill.