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Address to the House of Representatives: [opening of 41st Parliament].

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Statement

Hon David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Speaker, House of Representatives


16 November 2004

I again thank all honourable members for this great honour. I would like to express my sincere thanks first of all to the member for Corangamite for his very kind words. Yes, it is true that Wannon did extend into Camperdown, and he still has great difficulty in recognising where the boundary is, I think. Nonetheless, I have certainly appreciated his support and friendship over many years and his always very frank comments. I also thank the honourable member for Mallee for his support, which is much more than just today. We have worked together on many common issues and it is something that I have appreciated over many years.

I would like to thank the honourable Prime Minister for his very kind words. I certainly appreciate the way they were put and the expression of them. To the Leader of the Opposition, thank you. Yes, we have worked together on the Economics, Finance and Public Administration Committee and I have certainly appreciated the contribution that you have made to the committee. I think all honourable members should know that I think it was a good example of how a committee could work together with members of both government and opposition and achieve some constructive outcomes. I would like also to thank the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Treasurer for their kind remarks. The sentiments that were expressed around that give me great encouragement. I also thank the many colleagues and friends from both sides who have congratulated me in anticipation of this moment.

I say to the honourable member for Calare that some of the points he raised are probably first of all for consideration and secondly should be considered by the parliament itself, not just by the Speaker.

I would like to pay tribute to the former member for Wakefield, the Hon. Neil Andrew, for six years of very conscientious effort to uphold the dignity, the impartiality and the standing of the office of Speaker and also of the House. Neil, the member for Gippsland and I were the lonely coalition class of 1983—shortly, as we have already heard, to be joined by the member for Corangamite. To the Labor class of 2004, I say that I think we can relate to some of your feelings.

I would also like to thank my wife, Penny, and our family. Three of our four children, one grandchild and our son-in-law are here today, and I thank them for their very strong support over many, many years and for their encouragement to continue as the member for Wannon. I am mindful that the electors of Wannon hold high expectations given that the previous member for Wannon, as was mentioned, was the former Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser. I believe that my elevation today will be seen as, in some way, reward for their ongoing loyal support. I am also mindful of my own family’s commitment to parliamentary public life before me, which includes another member for Wakefield, my late cousin the Hon. Charles Hawker, and before that the elevation to Speaker in the South Australian parliament in 1860 of my great-grandfather, the Hon. George Hawker. I have seen reports that George Hawker was considered ‘courteous and fair’; I hope I can continue in that style.



On the opening today of the 41st Parliament, I congratulate all members on their election or re- election as the case may be. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, it is indeed a great privilege and an honour to serve in the national parliament, and I am sure all members will find it and continue to find it very rewarding. As we debate the issues of national importance, we should never forget that the things that unite us are far greater than the things that divide us. And as parliamentarians we should be mindful, as has been said, that the eyes of the nation are on us as we strive to make ours a better country. We all have a responsibility to repay the trust of our citizens by discharging our duties in a way worthy of respect. Again I thank all members and assure members from both sides that I will do my utmost to facilitate this through the honour you have given me today. Finally, can I just say that my door is always open.

Attachment to follow: Prime Minister’s speech

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