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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6664

Mr ANTHONY SMITH (6:13 PM) —Mr Deputy Speaker, on indulgence: I would just like to join with the Leader of the House to make some remarks about the member for Melbourne. As someone from Victoria, albeit from a different political party, I have obviously got to know the member for Melbourne over the years. I just want to say here in the House that I think he handled himself with great eloquence today and the decision he has made has obviously been one that he has been considering for some time. I have worked very closely with the member for Melbourne. I worked with him when I was the Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. As you know, Mr Deputy Speaker, there is so much work that is done at a level that the public do not see and he was a very active and productive member of that committee.

In more recent years, I have had the opportunity of sparring with him on TEN’s Morning News on Friday morning on a regular basis. Despite political differences and the fact that we are engaged here in this parliament and in the public arena in verbal combat, I have always found him to be personable and tough but fair in all his dealings. I do wish him very well for the future. If my memory serves me correctly, he was elected in 1993 and served a first term, obviously as a backbencher and for a long period in opposition, before becoming a very senior minister as the now Minister for Finance and Deregulation. Helping put together a federal budget is an enormous task, and being a member of parliament and a member of this House for 17 years is an enormous contribution. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours and I wish his family all the best in having more time with him at home, as he goes about the next stage of his life and career.