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Monday, 10 August 2015
Page: 7744

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (10:06): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the government, may I extend to you our congratulations on assuming this high and important office. As the Speaker, you sir are the custodian of the traditions of this House. Your job is to maintain order in this House by commanding the respect of both sides of the chamber. I am confident, based on our friendship and comradeship going back some quarter of a century, that this is exactly what you will do. May I say, Mr Speaker, that in the course of your 15-year parliamentary career you have met with some disappointments. It is precisely because you have met with triumph and disaster and treated both those impostors the same that you have so strongly commanded a majority inside the Liberal party room and why you have been elected unopposed here in this chamber.

Just a word, if I may, on the member for Mackellar. It should be said of the member for Mackellar that, despite some admitted errors of judgement, she has served this parliament, our country and her party with dedication and distinction for over 30 years. She has been a warrior for the causes that she believes in. I should also observe that, at the close of a very difficult week in his prime ministership, John Howard said, 'Politics is a hard and unforgiving business, but it is amongst the highest and noblest forms of public service.' May all of us conduct ourselves so that the public that we serve will better appreciate that in the days and weeks and years to come.