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Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Page: 508


Senator AYRES (New South Wales) (16:16): I want to associate myself with all of the comments that have been made up to now in relation to Kim, and I thank Senator Scarr for his generous remarks. I think that for those of us in this place who've had a background in manufacturing and with the AMWU—and there are a number of those here—Kim Carr leaves a very important legacy in this place and more broadly across the Labor movement.

Notwithstanding the fact that Kim was, and will continue to be, a formidable operator in the Labor movement, and that not everybody always agreed with Kim—sometimes famously—he is held in deep regard in the manufacturing sector, in the scientific community, in the research community and in higher education as really understanding the connection between Australian research and development and jobs for working-class and regional Australians in manufacturing. He understood that connection and understood the role that good, smart, forward-looking industry policy could play in building a better country.

He had humble beginnings in Tumut and he loves the Snowy Mountains—as a Victorian, I expect that he's going to spend a significant part of his retirement in regional New South Wales. Kim is in fact one of the most well-read members of this Senate. He engages deeply with writing and research, much more in the UK Labour tradition—if I can put it that way—of understanding and having a real connection with the intellectual work, in terms of philosophy right across to science. That's something that will be missed. He is, I have to say, as another member of Labor's national executive, the longest-serving member of the National Executive of the Labor Party in its history, which is a remarkable achievement; he only stepped down recently. When you think of some of the characters in the Labor movement's history who served on that body, to be in the position where you are the longest-serving member is quite an achievement. His contribution to the movement is immense. As somebody who didn't always agree with Kim on a range of issues, what I can say about it is that you would always listen to Kim's view and you should always have respected Kim's view about these things.

As I understand it, we may have another opportunity where Kim himself may be able to make some remarks. I hope that that is the case, because he does deserve the opportunity to make some valedictory remarks in this place.