Thursday, 10 December 2020
Statements on Indulgence
Member for Lingiari
I thank you, Member for Lingiari, for your tremendous service to our country. I also thank you for the acknowledgment of the way our parliament has come together to ensure there are those two seats for the Northern Territory. I, along with my many colleagues here who feel similarly, thank you for your passion and advocacy. I'm pleased that that has met with your agreement and that you could stand at this dispatch box and say that here today. As the Leader of the Opposition says, it was one of those important moments here in our parliament.
I've known Warren—Snowy—for some time as well. He's the sort of chap who, when you came here as a new member, would give you a nod in the corridor or down at the gym, or give you a friendly smile or say something usually pretty funny, often at your own expense. But that's the sort of bloke he is. Warren, like all Territorians, is a Territorian first. And he's a proud Territorian. Some might say he was made for the front page of the NT News. I don't know. I'm sure he got his fair share of them, as some of us have.
As the Leader of the Opposition has said, there are many things that I know he can feel a deep and great sense of accomplishment about. As Prime Minister, I thank you, Warren, on behalf of the Australian people for your service to Indigenous Australians, and not just in this place. It is a service that I have no doubt will continue long after you leave this place at the next election.
But I also want to join with the Leader of the Opposition, together with the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and veterans all around this country, in thanking you for your passion and dedication to our veterans. You've led the way in that area. You've had the great honour, which I know you would feel deeply, of being able to serve them in all the ways that you have. It is one of those portfolios of government that doesn't know partisan colour. And in that portfolio you were a great choice for your party because of your deep commitment and passion to our veterans. I know that will also continue.
In this place, it's not often, I think, that members get to leave here with a great sense of accomplishment that is at the same time not accompanied by bitterness, and I think that is also a mark of you, Warren. You've been here a long time, you've seen a lot of stuff—you've done some of it, I suspect! But you leave it there and you move on and you look forward to your next contribution that you can make, and I think that's a great credit to you and the sort of bloke you are. And that's why I think you're pretty well liked around this place. Your presence will be missed by all of us who've got to know you, even in a small way, and by those of us who know you extremely well, particularly your own colleagues.
Can I also join in acknowledging Elizabeth, Frankie, Tom, Tess and Jack. My daughter was born a couple of months before I came to this place, so I have some knowledge, particularly in those early years, of what you would have gone through with Elizabeth—you come home and the kids are there and you go, 'I'm doing something for the next few hours, if not few days.' I applaud your commendation and your gratitude to Elizabeth. That's probably why, mate, you are still together. You're now going to be able to, in a not-too-distant time from now, share precious time with her and the rest of your family in your post-political career. They share in your service, they share mostly in your sacrifice and they are joint inheritors of your legacy as well. Your children will be able to be very proud of their father.
I'm glad you kept notes, because I reckon it would make a cracking read! 'Snowy' is an obvious title, I reckon. I'll finish on this—and this is probably one of the best acknowledgments that a Liberal can give to a member of the Labor Party: you're a good Labor man. You're a very good Labor man. Thank you for your service.