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Tuesday, 28 August 2001
Page: 30407

Mr PRICE (5:26 PM) —On indulgence: I wish Marj and Lou the very best. With Lou having announced his retirement, I want to bring up a very unpleasant point— and that is that Lou always promised me he would lead a delegation overseas when his party were in government and that I would come along as part of that delegation. He has not honoured that promise. But I can say that I have been pleased to go twice overseas with Lou and Marj, and on the second occasion I was able to take my wife, Robyn. I suppose it is a truism that we get to know each other a lot better when we are at close quarters, and that was the case with Lou Lieberman.

I cannot say that I would agree with every proposition Lou brought before this House. But perhaps I can say how much I valued his contribution as a federal member of parliament and, in particular, when he was a member—with you too, Mr Deputy Speaker Hollis—of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. He took a particular interest in defence matters, and that is when I first got to know him well. Mr Deputy Speaker, not every member of this House is as privileged as you or the member for Indi to choose the timing of their own farewell. But Lou has done this in the knowledge that he has made a significant contribution at a state level in Victoria and, I believe, again in this federal parliament. People might be surprised at my saying this, but I would like to think that I will be losing a friend in Lou Lieberman when this parliament returns—as I hope also to return. Again, I wish Lou, Marj and the family all the very best. I promise to descend upon them in Wodonga and demand my cup of tea.