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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 39


Senator WATSON —by leave-Firstly, I welcome the return of Senator Ruth Coleman to the Senate and wish her good health in the continuance of her contributions, particularly towards the disabled. Secondly, I wish to support the salutatory comments of my colleagues towards former Senator Peter Rae. On Saturday Mr Rae convincingly topped the poll in the electorate of Bass in the Tasmanian State electorate. I think this reflects the very high esteem in which the people of Tasmania hold Peter Rae. Peter Rae was a dedicated worker in all phases of the life of our Senate. His contribution, particularly to the Senate committee system, has been a major factor in raising the public's perception in respect of the Senate and the work of the Senate. Former Senator Rae's other notable achievements include his leadership of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations, particularly his work on quangos and raising the status of accountability and public reporting of statutory government organisations. His work on the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange received national recognition. He was a very strong fighter for State rights. He loved his State of Tasmania and defended it on all occasions.

To his credit, he often took views or supported causes that at times isolated him from the mainstream of his Party and sometimes public opinion. I think this reflects the character of the man. I, therefore, wish to take this opportunity to thank him for his contribution in the Federal arena and wish him a successful career in the Tasmanian State Parliament.