House debates

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Constituency Statements

Burge-Lopez, Mr Daryl, Dawson, Mr David

10:20 am

Photo of Linda BurneyLinda Burney (Barton, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to pay tribute to Barton's much-loved odd couple, Daryl Burge-Lopez and David Dawson. Both are incredible assets for Labor and for the broader community, and they are almost inseparable—and almost always disagreeing with each other. Daryl and David were recently awarded the McKell Medal in New South Wales. This medal recognises their long and dedicated service to the Labor movement, but they are not simply excellent volunteers and campaign contributors; they are part of the incredible St George community.

David joined the Labor Party in 1984 when he was secretary of the New South Wales Union of Postal Clerks and Telegraphists. Since he retired, David has worked in every local election campaign, helping fill booth rosters, standing on prepoll and doorknocking. I did not meet David until my campaign for Barton, but his reputation preceded him. I now know him as a mentor.

Daryl, too, has a long association with the party, having first become active in the sixties. He is known as an enthusiastic but very effective campaigner. His work on polling booths is something to be believed. Anyone who worked on the Barton campaign will remember Daryl braving the very difficult Hurstville prepoll and reporting back every day, not always optimistically. Daryl's real strength is his ability to stand up in the face of aggressive and in many cases inappropriate campaigning as he did almost every single day on the Hurstville prepoll during the election. The tactics used by the Liberal candidates in the area were unacceptable and often dishonest, accusing me and Labor of some very unsavoury things.

Daryl and David are examples of the true strength of our community in Barton. They are devoted to making our community better and they show up and give their all. While Barton and the St George region have seen many local and federal members, Daryl and David have been with them all, and they provide their full, invaluable support to incoming MPs.

Barton's odd couple are part of the furniture in Barton and Kogarah. There is not a former or current Labor member in the area who is not thankful for their counsel and their assistance. I certainly know that the local state members, Chris Minns, Steve Kamper, Shaoquett Moselmane and Sophie Cotsis can attest to that. I am pleased to take this opportunity to recognise these two and pay tribute to them not just as a new MP they have assisted but on behalf of our entire community for their continued contribution. Daryl and David, I look forward to our next campaign together.