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Tuesday, 28 August 2001
Page: 30407

Mr KELVIN THOMSON (5:24 PM) —I rise briefly to support the remarks made by the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation. Coincidentally, I was in the Victorian parliament during some of the years the member for Indi was there—

Mr Slipper —Not all of them.

Mr KELVIN THOMSON —Some of the years—and so our paths first crossed after I entered the Victorian parliament in 1988. He was then the member for Benambra. He then baled out of the Victorian parliament and became a member of this House in 1993. I stayed in the Victorian parliament for one more term. A number of reasons caused me to make the move to federal parliament, and I have to say that keeping Lou company was only one of them. But the observations that the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation has made about the member for Indi are certainly shared by us in the opposition. He is a very decent and generous human being. His career has been trotted out. I think he might have enjoyed more political success had he had something of a mean streak about him. In fact, he is a very generous person. I think the fact that he left state government in 1992 said something about his view of the government that had come to office at that time. The other occasion on which I remember having dealings with Lou relates to the Kosovar refugees and Australia's offer to assist those refugees and provide them with housing in the electorate of the member for Indi. I represented the opposition on that occasion, and the member for Indi's handling of that whole issue was first class and reflected well on him and, indeed, on Australia generally. So, from the opposition's point of view, we cheerfully support the remarks that have been made by the minister.