House debates

Wednesday, 1 September 2021


Gallacher, Senator Alexander McEachian (Alex)

6:31 pm

Photo of Ken O'DowdKen O'Dowd (Flynn, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

It was a pleasure and an honour to know Senator Alex Gallacher. Sadly, his life came to an end on Sunday, aged 67. I first met Alex on a political trip to Korea and Japan. That's where our political lives crossed, and we became very good friends. It was a lasting friendship to the very end. On that delegation we visited coal-fired power stations and nuclear power stations in Korea. From the start I think we bonded. We had a fair bit in common, Alex and I. Was it the fact that we were both truck drivers and earned our living from driving trucks? He was long-haul; I was more fuel trucks in my area. We both loved golf. We started our lives in Canberra in the latter part of our lives. We both came here in the 2010 election.

I fully support all the accolades that have been bestowed on Alex by members of the House and I concur with the kind words that everyone has to say about Alex. I have not heard anyone say anything bad about Alex. He was one of those types of guys and, I tell you what, if you had something bad to say about him, you'd want to duck. He was a lovable bloke. My fondest memory of Alex was sitting in a bar in Seoul in Korea. He had a beer in one hand and a nine-inch cigar in the other. He said to me, 'Well, that was a great day, Ken, but a better night to come.' He said, 'I just love sitting at a bar and being able to smoke at the same time.' He said, 'You know you can't do that in Australia anymore.' That was correct. Smoking in a bar in Korea was quite acceptable. You walk into a bar over there and you've got to look through this haze to see who's at the other end. My condolences are with his wife, Paola, his children and his family. Rest in peace, my friend.


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