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SENATOR THE HON MATTHEW CANAVAN Minister for Resources and Northern Australia


July 9, 2018

I want to pay tribute to the contributions that Senators Barry O'Sullivan and Ian Macdonald have made to public life.

My Nationals colleague Barry is a great friend but more importantly he fought tirelessly for those who don't get to have the loudest voices in Canberra. His work manifested most tangibly in the Government's support for drought affected farmers.

Senator O'Sullivan's career has overlapped with the worst drought in western Queensland's history and he was instrumental in the Federal Government's first response which included assistance to farmers, infrastructure investment to help small businesses and pest and weed eradication efforts.

More recently, he successfully lobbied for the Government to extend Farm Household Assistance payments and crafted a broader response to the ongoing drought. Barry knew from personal experience how important the wealth producing industries of Queensland were to the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and small businesses. He supported these industries and provided them fearless and courageous representation. In a political scrap, you always wanted to have Barry on your side.

As Barry said in his first speech to Parliament:

“Without the primary production of food and fibres for the necessities of life, the transformation of the magical properties of some plants for medicinal purposes and the extraction of the earth’s elements and natural resources, we would be sitting here in a virgin forest, hungry and naked. I know that conjures things up for you!”

And, it wasn't all just talk. He helped deliver a sugar code of conduct, ending a damaging dispute between growers and millers, he coordinated Government efforts to respond to the damaging Panama virus in the banana industry and he helped turn a spotlight on to questionable tactics in the beef industry.

I know Barry will continue to fight for these people in the remainder of his Senate term.

My fellow Senate colleague Ian Macdonald also made an enormous contribution to Queensland, especially in his role as a warrior for the north. I often comment that I, as the Minister for Northern Australia, am simply the beneficiary of the legacy of Ian Macdonald's work. The development of the Australian Government's white paper on Northern Australia owes much to Ian's tireless advocacy for Northern Australia. 10.5

Ian's contribution to Northern Australia will extend long beyond his Senate term as Federal governments are now taking the task of development in the north seriously, and I am confident will do for many decades to

come. I know Ian will continue to support LNP candidates as number 4 on the Senate ticket, and I look forward working with him to get a great Senate team elected for Queensland. 10.5

Queensland is lucky to have a strong calibre of Senate candidates. I welcome Paul Scarr, Susan McDonald, Gerard Rennick, Brad Carswell and Nicole Tobin to the Senate team. Now more than ever it is important to choose wisely when considering a Senate vote.

Media contact: Kate Barwick 0408 072 809

Authorised by Senator M. Canavan, Rockhampton