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Thursday, 17 March 2016
Page: 3605

Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (09:45): I rise today to give my condolences to the family of the late Kevin Driscoll OBE, CBE, who passed away on 27 February 2016 aged 88 years. I was honoured to be present at his funeral and I would like to talk about his larger than life character. Kevin Driscoll was a hard worker. He was quick witted. He was a businessman whose contribution can be tracked not only across this great nation but across almost every sector of industry. He started his life as a union rep and delegate for several years. He had a fascinating history. At 28 years of age he went into business and earned his financial stake in the building and construction industry. Specifically, Mr Driscoll's company, National Homes Pty Ltd, was tasked with building houses in Queensland mining towns. He worked his way up through the building industry to became founding president of the Queensland Home Builders Association, which later merged with the Queensland Housing Industry Association.

In this combined organisation, Mr Driscoll fulfilled the role of president until he was elected national president of the Housing Industry Association in 1966. Mr Driscoll's contribution to the housing industry was then recognised by the federal government. With his expertise, he was sought to head up the Australian Housing Corporation in 1972. He made an incredible, innovative and distinguished contribution to the housing and construction industry, which led to him being recognised and awarded. He was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1980 and was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1987.

Mr Driscoll's knack for making absolutely sound business decisions placed him in very high esteem. I would like to personally acknowledge for the record Kevin Driscoll's contribution to the nation in Indigenous affairs. In 1998, Kevin Driscoll became the chairman of the business enterprise committee of the Indigenous Land Corporation. It was in his role as one of the ILC's longest-serving directors, and later as chair, that he guided the corporation through profitable livestock and pastoral investments. Much of the good work that he and the committee did we get to see today in the wonderful programs that have been able to be funded.

Kevin Driscoll's business savvy led to the purchase of property and to his own personal creation of wealth over his lifetime. He purchased a total of seven cattle stations and eight hotels across Australia in his lifetime, and this resulted in many opportunities of employment and economic development. I would like to express my thoughts to his wife, Thelma, and Mark, Christine, Sandra and Shaun at this very sad time. We will remember Kevin. He was an incredible asset to this great nation of ours.