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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Page: 11120

Mr BALDWIN (Paterson) (10:44): I rise to speak on this very sad occasion, but I rise to acknowledge the great work and contribution—not only to this House, but to Australia in general—of David Francis Jull. When I was first elected in 1996 I met this very, very colourful character, a character who seemed to be the fount of all knowledge and almost like the father of the new breed of 1996. I remember the corridor parties; I remember his passion for music but, more importantly, his passion for people. David Jull was a passionate Australian and a very highly effective advocate for his constituents and for the country. As the Prime Minister said when informing the House of his passing, David made lasting friends on both sides of this Chamber. He also made a profound impact on the Australian community and in particular on the tourism industry.

I would like to place on the Hansard record today, as the shadow minister for tourism, some reflections from the industry about David, an industry for which he did so much. In eulogising David on 14 September this year, the Chairman of the Australian Tourism Export Council, John King OAM, restated the words of appreciation ATEC gave upon his retirement just four years ago. On that occasion, ATEC hosted a dinner on the Gold Coast to honour David's services to the industry, where he was presented with a framed letter of appreciation on behalf of the tourism industry. It read as follows:

When you were elected in 1975, Australia welcomed a mere 516,000 international visitors. Tourism was not particularly well-regarded within the bureaucracy and indeed the future of the fledgling Australian Tourist Commission was in doubt.

Enter David Jull. Your hard work through the late 70s as Chair of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Tourism, culminating in a seminal report, and your heartfelt lobbying of the Hon Phillip Lynch saved our industry at one of its darkest moments.

From that point on, inbound tourism didn't look back. Thanks to your hard work, the ATC's budget was increased significantly, its Act was reformed, and parliamentarians began to learn of the importance of distribution and airfares in tourism development. For this you were recognised by ITOA with its Award for Excellence in 1982.

… As an industry made up largely of small businesses, you continued to pursue the cause of small to medium enterprises, a visionary crusade which started with your maiden speech.

In later years you have been instrumental in cementing tourism's place at a level befitting one of Australia's largest export-earners.

… And so, as you retire from Parliament, you have left behind an industry that welcomes over 5 million international visitors, earns us $22 billion in foreign exchange and employs hundreds of thousands of Australians, many in regional and remote areas.

It may well be that David's greatest enduring legacy is a strong and vibrant tourism sector.

Much has and will be said of David's service to the formal policy and parliamentary committees of the parliament and to Australia as a minister of the Crown. David was the Minister for Administrative Services from 1996 to 1997; he was the federal member for Bowman from 1975 to 1983 and the member for Fadden from 1984 to 2007. In addition, he served as chair of the parliamentary committee on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

It is for his unrecognised service as an inaugural contestant and active member of the Parliamentary Friends of Tourism group that I would like to draw attention to today. David was a real friend of the tourism industry before Friends of Tourism group became organised during the Howard government. Friends of Tourism is one of parliament's busiest and most useful informal associations and exists for hospitality and tourism businesses and organisations to give the sector a stronger voice within this federal parliament. Its purpose is to foster engagement between members and senators who are passionate about tourism and those in the industry affected by government policies and legislation.

At the time of David's passing, the group he helped create had three scheduled events planned, events to give a platform for aviation and leisure businesses. Bruce Baird, the actual founder of Friends of Tourism, who is now the chair of peak tourism industry Tourism and Transport Forum wanted me to convey his appreciation with the following remarks, and I quote:

The depth and breadth of understanding of, and appreciation for, tourism that today exists in Australian politics and public discourse would have been far less were it not for David Jull.

It was a pleasure to be in David's company. His intellect and political ability was matched only by a wit and joy in sharing a laugh, connecting with others, and appreciating life.

His participation in the "Friends of Tourism" parliamentary association was one of its key driving factors, and made a real difference to the quality of debate in this place about the services sector.

This explains why David was drawn to tourism and those who make their careers in hospitality. It's a serious business—and it is serious fun.

David was well travelled and a great travelling companion. Travel, in itself, was never an objective for him, but a means to extract value for the industry and his country. His advocacy on behalf of the sector has contributed much to its strength today.

David inspired his colleagues, journalists, the bureaucracy and the Australian public to become aware as never before about tourism's importance to our economy, to our quality of life, and even to Australia's reputation on the world stage.

He will be missed.

Earlier this week at a tourism transport forum I said, and truly believed, that David Jull was Australia's greatest tourism minister we never had. David, may you be resting in peace, because you will be sadly missed.