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Tuesday, 17 August 1993
Page: 5

Senator HARRADINE —I, too, would like to congratulate Senator Crichton-Browne on his election to the position of Deputy President and Chairman of Committees. Senator Crichton-Browne is a very—I would not say `passionate' because I do not use that word very often—strong supporter of this institution, the Senate. I believe that his election as Deputy President of the Senate will augur well for the future of this chamber in somewhat difficult times. The President, of course, is also a strong supporter of this institution and, with both of those honourable senators there at the helm, I think this will be very much appreciated by the people of Australia who regard this chamber as a necessary chamber of review and Senator Crichton-Browne's work as Chairman of Committees will be very vital to the exercise of that function by members of parliament.

  I, too, would like to say that I have supported Senator Colston previously in situations such as this. Senator Colston's work in this chamber—he came here at the same time as I did, in 1975—has been exceptional. He has been able to manage this chamber in circumstances in which another person may well have foundered. He has allowed discussion and debate to take place. One has always known when it was time to cut because Senator Colston used to just prop, and that was it, one could not possibly get past it. It was very instructive. I only saw him do it once to me and I did not press it any further on any other occasion.

  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Senator Colston for what he has done in his role as Chairman of Committees and as an honourable senator in this place since 1975. I am sure that Senator Crichton-Browne will carry on that tradition of enabling members of parliament to have their say but ensuring that the work of the parliament proceeds without undue delay.

The PRESIDENT —I wish to join the honourable senators who have spoken in congratulating Senator Crichton-Browne on his election as Deputy President and Chairman of Committees. I have known and worked on a number of committees with Senator Crichton-Browne over quite a few years now. We did not always agree, but I am confident that we will have a close and productive working relationship that should be of benefit to the efficient running of the Senate.

  I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the former Deputy President, Senator Colston. He played a very supportive role in the last Senate. He was a very loyal deputy who worked quite tirelessly in ensuring that the operations of the chamber ran as smoothly as possible.

  I do want to mention, in particular, the time towards the end of the last session when we had some of the longest and latest sittings on record. I greatly appreciated the efforts of Senator Colston, particularly with regard to organising the adjournment debate which was regularly called on in the early hours of the morning. I thank him for those efforts and I wish him well in the future. I am sure that Senator Crichton-Browne will continue in the same tradition and, once again, I congratulate him.