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Monday, 8 March 1999
Page: 2339

Senator FAULKNER (3:38 PM) —Madam Deputy President, I wish to associate the opposition with the condolence motion that has been moved on the death of former Senator George Howard Branson. We in the Labor Party also express our sincere regret at his recent passing.

As the Manager of Government Business has indicated, former Senator Branson was a Western Australian by birth. He also clearly had a most distinguished career in the 2nd AIF. He was a prisoner of war for quite a considerable period—from 1942 to 1945—on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. He obviously suffered very great hardships during that period of time.

He served in the parliament from 1958, when he came in to fill a casual vacancy, through to his retirement in 1971—which, of course, represents two terms in the parliament. Like many others, he had very distinguished service on numerous parliamentary committees. He was the Chairman of the Select Committee on Air Pollution and, from all reports, was a dedicated member of parliament who very genuinely felt an obligation to the people of Western Australia and to his state. He demonstrated that commitment through great loyalty and hard work over a long period in this parliament.

Madam Deputy President, on behalf of the opposition I extend to former Senator Branson's family and friends our sincere condolences on his passing.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I ask honourable senators to stand in silence to signify their assent to the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honourable senators standing in their places.