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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 3

Mr HOWARD(11.57) —Mr Clerk, it is my privilege to nominate Mr James Donald Mathieson Dobie, the honourable member for Cook, for the position of Speaker. Mr Dobie has been a member of this Parliament, except for one brief interruption, since 1966, when he was elected as the member for the seat of Hughes. He has had wide experience in every aspect of the conduct of the business of this House. He has had extensive committee service, dating back to 1967, including the chairmanship of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts. He has served as Deputy Chairman of Committees for two periods. He has played an active role in many other aspects of the life of this Parliament. In 1979 he served as the Commonwealth Parliament's observer at the Zimbabwe elections, a position of considerable interest and responsibility at the time. The honourable member for Cook has earned the respect of honourable members on both sides of the House, and throughout his career he has consistently demonstrated a sense of judgment and of fairness and consistency.

We on this side of the House believe that the honourable member for Cook, for those foregoing reasons, is a person who would do very great honour to this very high position. But there is one additional reason why, with great enthusiasm, we sponsor the honourable member for Cook, and that is that before the last election there were some misguided people who occasionally forecast the electoral demise of the honourable member for Cook at that election. I am very pleased to report that he recorded a swing of 5 per cent in his favour, the largest swing of any alleged marginal seat-holder in New South Wales. For that reason, above all others, the Opposition is more than delighted to sponsor the honourable member for Cook as a candidate for Speaker.