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Thursday, 30 November 2017
Page: 9388


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (16:30): I rise to express my condolences to Steve's family and his friends. I first met Steve in about 1988 when I moved to St Marys from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. I joined the St Marys branch of the ALP when I moved to Sydney, and Steve and his team ran the branch. I must say that I don't think I ever won a vote on anything I moved at that branch! I then moved to the Blue Mountains some years later. Steve lived in the Blue Mountains, and I know that he was very fond of the Lapstone pub in the Blue Mountains. He was a very popular patron of the Lapstone pub.

Senator Payne: Better known as 'the Lappo'!

Senator CAMERON: The Lappo, yes. He was also a member of the ACTU executive when I was on the executive, so I did have lots of discussions with Steve. Again, I don't think I voted at any time in the same way that Steve did at the ACTU executive. But when I came to the Senate, I was voting with him all the time!

Senator Jacinta Collins: At least in here!

Senator CAMERON: Yes, at least in here! Certainly not at the New South Wales branch of the Labor Party! Steve and I had some good set-tos, and he is fondly remembered for that. He was a tough, uncompromising, smart trade unionist and politician. He is sadly missed.

It was unfortunate that, because of circumstances, I and a number of my colleagues could not attend Steve's funeral in the Blue Mountains yesterday. So I just want to place on record my thanks for the friendship he gave me here, even though we were factional opponents. Steve gave me great friendship and a great deal of support. He was friendly and welcoming to me when I came here. It's a sad loss to the New South Wales Labor Party, a sad loss to the federal Labor Party and a sad loss to the Australian public, for which he has done so much in his time in this place. Vale, Steve, and commiserations to Natalie, his family and friends.