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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4249


Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (19:20): I want to use this opportunity to pay tribute to Queensland Labor legend Terry Mackenroth, who, sadly, passed away recently. Terry, for those who knew him and for many people in Queensland, was known as 'The Fox' because of his wily political skills that he honed over a long period of time. Terry had a remarkable career in state parliament. Unfortunately, the first 12 years of that was spent in opposition when the Labor Party was in opposition for 32 years at the state level. Terry honed his political skills during that time—and it was really a rough-and-tumble Queensland parliament at that time. He was then able to use those skills effectively when we got out of opposition. He was an integral part of the Goss government coming to power in 1989. Terry's history as a minister and as a key part of that Goss government is a remarkable list of achievements, including a significant stint as police minister and doing so much to modernise Queensland, working with Wayne Goss who was such a tremendous Labor Premier.

Terry had a significant career in government. It is great that he was able to do that after spending so much time in opposition. Terry was also a significant part of the Peter Beattie government and, in particular, of Peter's 2001 election win, which, from a Labor point of view, was the most significant win we have ever had in Queensland. Terry takes particular credit for a strategy that led to that 2001 landslide. When the conservative forces were so split, it really did signal that there was only one option, and that was 'vote 1 for Labor'. During the term of the Peter Beattie government, Terry rose to become Deputy Premier and Treasurer. He had a significant list of achievements as Treasurer. A key part of that, and the key legacy of Terry running through opposition to government and rising to Deputy Premier—and indeed in life after politics—was that Terry never forgot where he came from. He grew up in the electorate he represented, and he continued to live in that community until he passed away. Labor people understand and admire those people who grow up in their electorates and then get the opportunity to represent those electorates; it means a little bit more to them that they are able to do that.

I think there were some real constants in Terry's life, particularly when it came to politics, that he really stuck to—whether internal or external. Terry was tough but fair, he never forgot where he came from, and he was a foundation rock that the success of the Goss and Beattie governments was built on. Terry's many achievements are on the public record. But I just want to talk a bit about how I got to know Terry when he left politics, because I think this is also important to show the type of person he was. For me, Terry was the model of an ex-politician in that he never sought to interfere, he never sought to cause trouble, but he was always happy to offer his point of view. He'd say, 'I don't want to give you any advice, but I'm always happy to give you my view and it is up to you whether you take it.' As someone who was involved in campaigning at the time, I really appreciated that Terry never sought to interfere and never said he knew best. He would always offer a view, and then it was up to you whether you took it. When we lost government in 2012, we had so little experience in opposition that Terry was a great help to us given his experience. He became very close with Annastacia Palaszczuk as Premier and continued to be a close confidant of hers until his sad passing. And he was a great help to us when we won the election in 2015. When most people weren't giving us a chance, Terry was happy to stick to his Labor Party values and ensure he could give the best advice to Annastacia and her team.

More recently, I spent time with Terry at Broncos games. We were both season ticket holders and Terry sat a few rows in front of me. I always took the opportunity to have a chat with him about politics. He was always interested in what was going on and keeping a close eye on things. He also played an integral role with Annastacia in her last election campaign. I'm very sad at Terry's sudden passing. Our thoughts are with Mary and his extended family. I pay tribute to Terry. Vale, Terry Mackenroth.