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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 15

Mr HAWKE (Prime Minister) —Of course, I immediately congratulate Mrs Child. It is easy for me to do so, for two reasons. Firstly, she has filled the position of Chairman of Committees with great distinction since she was elected to it on 28 February of last year. By the way she has discharged the duties of the office she has commanded the respect and, I believe, the affection of all honourable members. Secondly, I have very great pleasure in congratulating her because I count her amongst my very close personal friends. She has been a member of this Parliament for a fairly long period. She was here from 1974 to 1975. She has been a member again since 1980. She has held the parliamentary positions of Deputy Chairman of Committees from 21 April 1983 until 28 February 1984 and, as we all know, of Chairman of Committees from 28 February of last year.

Like you, Mr Speaker, Mrs Child also brings international experience to the Parliament in that in 1982 she was elected a permanent delegate to the European Council and the European Parliament. So all our best wishes go to you, Joan. We know that you will, in this Parliament, as you did in the last, discharge the onerous duties of this position with very great distinction, with the firmness of which you are capable when it is necessary and with total fairness.

To the honourable member for Wide Bay (Mr Millar) I say what I said on the last occasion such as this. I have no problems about my quotations being thrown up against me again, but on this occasion I can say, not only personally, but also on behalf of the Government, that the great pleasure we have in voting for Mrs Child and seeing her elected involves no reflection on him. No member in this House is more universally liked and respected than the honourable member for Wide Bay. That is still the case and he should not take the vote as any adverse reflection upon him. I can identify myself with all the things that were said in the honourable member's favour by the mover and seconder of his nomination. But ultimately, as someone behind me said, it is not just quality-which both candidates have-that counts in these situations, but that little additional ingredient-numbers. I wish the honourable member for Wide Bay the best of luck.