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Tuesday, 20 August 1996
Page: 2668

Senator HILL (Leader of the Government in the Senate)(2.24 p.m.) —Madam President, I am pleased to have the opportunity to be the first to congratulate you on your election on my personal behalf and on behalf of my colleagues. If I might say so, I think the Senate has made an excellent choice. You have served us well as Deputy President and Chairman of Committees. I think everyone has appreciated the way that you have controlled us in a firm but dignified way, and I am sure that you will continue to do so in this high office that you now hold.

I was thinking a moment ago of the qualities that one would look for in a President. I thought that possibly the first—not necessarily in order—would be a good sense of humour. You have that. Second would be a good solid dose of commonsense, and you have plenty of that. Third is legal skills or the equivalent thereof, and you are well qualified in that regard. Fourth is obviously political skills, and you have been in politics now for a long time and very successfully at every level of your political role. I refer from the electorate responsibilities here in the ACT up to the various functions and responsibilities that you have held in this Senate.

I have no doubt, Madam President, that you will even further enhance the standing of this chamber and this parliament by being our President. I am a little bit proud that you were a South Australian—you are always welcome back any time—and I am also as a Liberal proud that Liberals have now in the Senate the first woman Senate President. I congratulate you and wish you well.