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Tuesday, 16 November 1993
Page: 2926

Senator MacGIBBON —I would like to add my contribution to this condolence motion for former Senator Justin O'Byrne. I always found Justin a very affable and congenial colleague. As Senator Archer said, he was true to his ideals and to the Labor Party. He was probably the last of the true blue union type representatives that we have seen from the Labor Party. I always thought that he had a degree of detached objectivity about his approach to politics. He had an air about him that you often see in people who have had some pretty searing experiences in war; when they get into civilian life they probably find it difficult to see anything as being as serious as what they have been through in the past. Justin always had that about him.

  At the outset of my career when I first came into this chamber I got up to speak on a bill. I was immediately ruled out of order. The ruling was quite correct according to the standing orders; I cannot remember what the point at error was. We were in government then and, characteristically, no-one on my side came to my help. Justin, who used to sit on the back bench on the other side of the chamber immediately recognised the difficulty I was in and he moved either that I be granted leave to speak or for the suspension of standing orders. I made my speech and I was eternally grateful for that act of charity to a new senator at that time. I often talked with Justin in the corridor; I did enjoy his company. I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to his family, friends and relatives.