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Monday, 14 September 1987
Page: 31


Mr JULL —Today we honour a very great man. I believe that my comments today should be brief because his history has been given by previous speakers. I suppose my experience of Bill Snedden is similar to that of some of the others who have spoken tonight. I first met Bill Snedden in my previous career as a television journalist and I interviewed him on a number of occasions. I suppose in that particular position it is very easy to become quite jaundiced in the image one gets of Federal politicians. But Bill Snedden was different: there certainly was a warmth and a feeling of genuineness that came through whenever I spoke to him.

In 1974 I first stood for the seat of Bowman. It was one of those seats which was very similar to the Tasmanian situation. The Australian Labor Party held a majority there of about 8,500 votes. Bill Snedden came in and campaigned for that election. We reduced the majority to 642. Bill Snedden came back for every election since that first occasion to campaign on my behalf and on behalf of the Liberal Party of Australia. It would not be overstating the situation to say that members of the Liberal Party within that division of Bowman, and subsequently the division of Fadden, had a very real love for Bill Snedden. Bill Snedden certainly achieved in that particular part of Brisbane a great understanding of what liberalism was all about-because first and foremost Bill Snedden was a very great liberal. The principles that he espoused were the principles that certainly I hold dear, and I am sure most of my colleagues who are in the House with us on this occasion hold them dear as well.

The honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock) mentioned that Bill Snedden was a very great healer. I think it was one of his great achievements that he managed to get the Liberal Party together again as a viable force after the disastrous election result of 1972. He laid the foundations for that great win of 1975, and I think it is a very great pity that Bill Snedden was never Prime Minister of Australia. We could wonder just what the face of Australia might be like today if Bill Snedden had achieved that very high office. Perhaps it would be a different Australia; but that we will never know.

Bill Snedden was in my electorate just a few months before his death-still campaigning. He was that sort of man; he was always prepared to give. He was a great giver and Australia is a much better place for the service that Bill Snedden provided to this Parliament.