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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 26

Mr COHEN (Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment) —I would like to add my sentiments to those already expressed regarding Dudley Erwin. He was a member of Parliament when I came here in 1969. I served with him on the House of Representatives Select Committee and then Standing Committee on Road Safety, and I got to know him extremely well. I agree with all those comments, particularly those of the previous speaker, when I say that Dudley Erwin was a very kindly, gentle and friendly person who always had a smile and a pleasantry to exchange whenever one met him in the House. I cannot recall Dudley Erwin ever saying anything nasty about anyone in the House.

Mr Young —He did not like Malcolm.

Mr COHEN —If he did not like Malcolm Fraser, that makes him fairly normal; but I do not think he ever mentioned it.

I also saw a lot of Dudley Erwin after he retired from Parliament, because he did work on behalf of people in the film industry and he was in my office quite a lot making representations on their behalf. It appears that his heart attack occurred after leaving my office. I understand that he collapsed against the wall outside my office, and from there transport home was arranged for him. So my contact with him was indeed a sad one at the finish. I understand he died a couple of days later. As someone who has just had an illness, I know what an awful experience he must have gone through.

I think that Dudley Erwin was the finest type of local member. He did a wonderful job as the member for Ballarat. Dudley often said to me that the honourable member for Ballarat (Mr Mildren), who has now succeeded him, had followed him in his own pattern in looking after his electorate, and Dudley believed that his successor would be there as the member for Ballarat for as long as he wanted to remain in Parliament. So he was also a good judge of parliamentarians. I am saddened by his passing and I extend my deepest sympathy to his family.