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Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 3086


Senator BIRMINGHAM (South AustraliaMinister for Education and Training and Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (16:23): Very briefly I wish to acknowledge the remarks of Senator Cormann and Senator Wong in paying tribute to Donald Jessop, former member for the House of Representatives electorate of Grey in South Australia and, of course, as we've heard, long-serving Liberal senator for South Australia.

Don Jessop is no doubt an individual who would have firmly believed that success is derived through a commitment to hard work and strong values, and that is a testament to his life and to his many accomplishments. Yet equally I think it is fair to say that fate played a significant role in his life as well: the fortune—surprise—of being elected as the member for Grey in his first outing of electoral contest and then his defeat landing him here as a long-serving senator. Probably an individual who was better suited to being a senator and to serving as a senator, indeed, his contribution through that time can be seen through his many accomplishments but particularly in the principle that he brought to parliamentary democracy and his support for the unique role of this chamber in our Australian polity. His work and his contribution in developing and extending our committee system—we've heard the words about his support for the establishment of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee—and the extension of work around the acknowledgement of parliamentary privilege all ensure that the chamber we operate in today, and have the privilege and honour of operating in, is a stronger chamber. It is stronger for the contribution of the likes of Donald Jessop and Alan Missen during their era of service.

He, of course, was also a passionate and staunch representative of my home state of South Australia. He continued work that our forefathers at the time of Federation had done, as Senator Wong acknowledged, championing South Australian interests in relation to issues such as the River Murray—argued as they were at the time of the Federation conventions in the 1890s by former South Australian Premier Charles Cameron Kingston, and later through the contribution of senators like Donald Jessop and, indeed, through many contributions that Senator Wong and I have made during our time in this chamber today. It's a continuous stream, if you can pardon the pun, of work on such a critical issue.

Equally, he stood up for many South Australian industries, jobs and opportunities, as well as the welfare and wellbeing of so many South Australians. He had a fierce stream of independence within the way in which he represented his constituents—an independence that was testament to his character and his values, and his willingness to fight and to put their interests first.

He was a proud and loyal servant of South Australia and a great worker in many different ways for the Liberal Party through his time of service for our party. I pay tribute to his contribution and extend and add my condolences to his family and friends.

Question agreed to, honourable senators standing in their places.