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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26707

Mr ADAMS (5:31 PM) —I would like to associate myself and my partner Dee with these condolences to Carol and Peter's broader family. I got to know Peter and Carol on a delegation trip in 1997. I served with Peter on no parliamentary committees but on the Amnesty International group. Peter was very strong on human rights issues, and I remember the meetings we had on that delegation—especially to do with refugees from Burma coming into Thailand—and his pointed questions, always sharp and to the point.

That was a long delegation, I remember, and I had the honour of being the deputy leader of that group. Once or twice our leader took ill, and I was thrust into the leadership position. I remember once that it was late—and I thought Peter was always pretty good with his advice, and it has been mentioned by his colleagues that he was never backward in giving advice—and it was all getting pretty prickly towards the end of that trip. It was a three-week delegation, and we were in the top end of Thailand. We had hosted a farewell dinner to those who had assisted us and the drivers, and the people from the parliament of Thailand.

I then suggested, because I was the leader, that we might need some more relaxation and I led the delegation around the corner to a massage area of the town and suggested that we would all do better if we had a good massage and got rid of some of the tensions within us. Of course, Thai massage is where you are massaged with your clothes on, and they can give you some pyjamas to put on. Peter was a pretty intense sort of guy, and I remember us all getting there and lying on the floor on the mats to get pulled around. I remember the squeaks and the cries that came out from everybody in the area. I think we were all very much more relaxed and comfortable when we left that area and went back to our accommodation.

Peter was a great guy to travel with, along with Carol. His intensity, his belief in what he stood for, was always there and he raised his beliefs with great strength. He fought those battles and, as we have heard today, he fought them within his party room. There is a lot more to being a member of this House than actually sitting on the front bench: there are all those battles that we know about and that we all fight, and evidently Peter fought those battles with great dedication. He was a very decent bloke, and his family can be very, very proud of him, and I wish them all well in the future without him.