House debates

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Parliamentary Representation

Valedictory

3:21 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business (House)) Share this | Hansard source

On indulgence: for years at every election a conversation that goes through the Labor Party has been, 'Can we stop Pyne from winning Sturt?' This was not the preferred method, I have to say. The Leader of the House is someone who has always loved the parliament. There will be times when, for all of us, the debate gets vicious because the issues we are dealing with are real. But I think the Leader of the House has probably been better than almost any of us at having moments where a bit of grace and a bit of levity is thrown in. He referred to the 'stage' of this parliament. I don't think anyone sees it as a stage quite the way the Leader of the House does and I don't think anyone uses it that way. I should, quite as effectively. I should let the Leader of the House know that I had organised today—and they are still up there—the scriptwriter and cast of the play How to Rule the World, which is actually set here. I thought they could treat this as an audition. There are a couple of roles for your next career that would be spot on—absolutely spot on.

Because of our roles on the front-line you get people who don't know the other being deeply critical. I always respond to the Leader of the House by quoting the Shawshank Redemption, where someone is critical of a character called Brooks and Morgan Freeman responds, 'Brooks ain't no bug; he's just institutionalised.' There is also a point about the walls around us: 'First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.' I wish you well. We really wish you well, whatever the next part of your career involves.

I remember when Albo's book came out, Bob Hawke took great delight in quoting the Leader of the House saying, 'My only friend in the Labor Party is Albo.'

An opposition member: In the parliament.

In the parliament. Now that you are leaving it will be easier to have a whole lot more. Whatever you go to next, with Albo on the show you shared with him on Todayor the high-rating and potentially Logie-winning show of Pyne and Marlesit will be a disaster for Sky for you not to be appearing on that—and wherever your career takes you, particularly if you are there at an awards night receiving a Logie or some award for a future theatrical performance, please remember that we were all there with you at the beginning. Good luck.

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