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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 35


Senator BUTTON (Leader of the Government in the Senate) —by leave-I take this opportunity, on behalf of Government senators and, I believe, non-Government senators, to welcome Senator Ruth Coleman back to the Senate after a considerable period of leave of absence on the grounds of sickness. I am sure that we all wish her well and a continued stay in the Senate in good health.

I wish also to mention the resignation of Senator Peter Rae from the Senate, which was referred to earlier by you, Mr President. Senator Rae entered the Senate in 1967 and, in that sense, was a long term politician; he was here for a great number of years. Whatever differences we may have had in this place, I believe that he certainly made a very substantial contribution to a number of matters concerning the Senate as well as in the political arena. I refer particularly to his chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange, for which I think he will remain very well known in the annals of this Parliament for a long period, and also his chairmanship of the committee on statutory authority financing. I think the work of that committee has changed some of the parameters of political debate on statutory authorities. I could not say on behalf of Government senators that we were pleased that Senator Rae was elected last Saturday with such a substantial vote but, having been elected as a result of the misjudgment of Tasmanian electors, we wish him well in his new job.