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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2357


Mr ABBOTT (Warringah) (10:27): I rise today to celebrate the life of Michael Crouch, Companion of the Order of Australia, who has just left us. We Australians don't often think of ourselves as a manufacturing powerhouse, but, thanks to Michael Crouch, Australia is the world's largest supplier of instant boiling water machines. Michael's great insight was that you wouldn't succeed merely by doing what others did. So he did something that no-one was doing then: he created a machine that would deliver instant boiling water, and now, thanks to Michael Crouch, there are billions of conversations right around the world every day at the Zip water heater in just about every workplace. Michael started exporting Zip products 35 years ago and now these products, still manufactured in Condell Park in Sydney, are sold in more than 70 countries.

Michael Crouch wasn't just a great industrialist; he was a great philanthropist, too. The good causes he supported included the Duke of Edinburgh awards, involving more than 30,000 young Australians every year, Symphony Australia and the National Biography Award. He supported medical research. He supported water and soil conservation, technical innovation and higher education. He was unashamedly pro-business and unashamedly pro-Australian—not for him the black-armband view of our history. Unsurprisingly, this also made him a strong supporter of the Liberal Party. He wasn't just a friend in good times; he was a friend when you really needed one.

The challenge for each generation is to be at least as good as our forebears, and in Michael Crouch we certainly have someone to look up to. His life should be both an inspiration and a reproach. It should inspire us to believe that our best days are still ahead of us, but it should reproach us to put service before self. He's gone but certainly not forgotten, and he deserves to be remembered on our country's most enduring record.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Irons ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.