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Wednesday, 21 August 1996
Page: 2740

Senator HILL (Leader of the Government in the Senate)(9.52 a.m.) —by leave—I move:

That the Senate expresses its deep regret at the death, on 8 August 1996, of Philip Ernest Lucock CBE, a member of the House of Representatives for the Division of Lyne from 1952 to 1980, Temporary Chairman of Committees from 1956 to 1961, Deputy Chairman of Committees from 1973 to 1975 and Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees from 1961 to 1973 and from 1976 to 1978, places on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Phil Lucock was born in Eltham, Kent, England on 16 January 1916. He studied theology, but interrupted his studies to enlist in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1941. After his discharge from the RAAF he resumed his studies and became a minister of the Presbyterian Church.

He entered federal politics in 1952 when he won the New South Wales seat of Lyne. In his first speech in parliament he spoke of the economic difficulties facing Australia at the time, in particular the need to contain inflation—a subject which is as relevant today as it was then. He also reflected on the pressures borne by the government of the day.

Phil's long parliamentary career saw him embrace many issues of public concern. In speeches in this parliament during his last days before his retirement in 1980 he commented on a wide range of issues, including the Western economic system, the level of state borrowings, the role of the backbencher, the role of the media and the ultimate accountability of each member to his or her electorate.

Phil was a firm believer in each and every individual playing a part and making a contribution so that Australia could continue to be the lucky country. He was true to his belief and made many significant contributions during his 28 years in this parliament. In addition to holding the offices of Deputy Chairman of Committees and Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees, he also provided valuable service to a range of parliamentary committees. He was chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Printing. He served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Standing Orders, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Privileges, the House of Representatives Select Committee on Pharmaceutical Benefits, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory.

In 1971, he was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his service to the community and to the parliament. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career in this parliament—a career marked by his gentleness and compassion, and a special understanding of the trials and tribulations of politicians and government. In an article published in the Australian shortly after his retirement in 1980, he wrote:

Today, more than ever before, the real strength of government is tested by the need to make unpopular decisions that will benefit all Australians in the future.

These are words that we should all bear in mind. Phil will be sadly missed by all who knew him. On behalf of the government, I extend to his children Robert, Ian, Patricia and Alison our most sincere sympathy in their bereavement.