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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 16


Mrs CHILD —I thank the House again for the great honour that it has bestowed in electing me to the very high position of Chairman of Committees. I thank the honourable member for Isaacs (Mr Charles), and the honourable member for Stirling (Mr Ronald Edwards), my friends and colleagues, for their kind words. If they thought that these would get them first and second cab off the rank on the adjournment, they can forget it. They will get the same treatment as everybody else.

I thank the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Peacock) and the Leader of the National Party (Mr Sinclair) for their very generous comments. When I was elected the first time I had the feeling that they were damning me with faint praise, but I am delighted to accept their generous comments this time. The Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) and I have had a long and chequered career as colleagues together, through our days in the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party and through our parliamentary days. I thank him also for his very generous comments and I assure him and the House that I will do the best I can to carry out the duties of this office with the dignity it deserves.

The honourable member for Dawson (Mr Braithwaite) quoted at length what I had had to say about Clarrie Millar. I was delighted that he did so because the words I said then are equally applicable now and I guess he saved me the trouble of saying them all over again. But he did not read out the very relevant part. That was where I said: 'The only thing wrong, Clarrie, is that you did not have the numbers'. That is true again now. Clarrie has given me enormous support over the past 12 months. I have leant on his experience quite heavily. He has been generous and, at all times, wise in the advice he has given. I thank the House and all who have elected me to this position.