House debates

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Statements on Indulgence

Dowd, Ms Anne

3:26 pm

Photo of Christian PorterChristian Porter (Pearce, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | | Hansard source

If I make take that opportunity to say a few words about Anne Dowd, who was in the advisers box in the chamber this afternoon. I would like to pass on my thanks and that of the government to Anne for her service as the parliamentary liaison officer for the past nearly four years. Today marks the final day of which Anne will work as the parliamentary liaison officer. The PLO, as it is better known, is a very important part of the legislative and procedural process of the chamber, and Anne has served this government with incredible distinction and great humour. She did put up enormous amounts with the last Leader of the House. She is a person of very thick skin and high levels of tolerance. Anyone who has been a part of the ministry would be very familiar with Anne and her chasing them for the introduction of bills and ensuring that duty ministers are there for their rostered time slot.

If I might add, while Anne today is retiring from her position as parliamentary liaison officer, she is retiring from the Australian Public Service, which she has served since 1981, working in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for 28 years. Throughout her career Anne has worked in a variety of positions, including the Australian War Crime Commission, frequently travelling internationally, and more importantly has supported Prime Ministers with swearings in, administrative changes and Governor-Generals' appointments, to name but a few of her many tasks over those 28 years.

More recently Anne was responsible for the coordination of the Australian government legislative program from within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and now as the House parliamentary liaison officer. It has been noted by many that Anne is one of the busiest people in Parliament House. If I might wish her on behalf of the Prime Minister and government and all members present all the very best for her retirement after nearly 38 years in the Australian Public Service.

3:28 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

The opposition joins in thanking and congratulating Anne Dowd for her work over the years. In praising and describing her work, I will avoid the acronym in case it gets cut into an ad, but the work of the parliamentary liaison officer is extraordinary work. Many on our side will remember Anne's work within the department during the time that we were in minority government in particular, when a whole lot of procedures had to be changed and different ordering of work had to be organised quite differently to what had happened previously. Her skills then became helpful again for the other side of politics during the latter part of the last term.

The work of the parliamentary liaison officer effectively makes whoever's in government look more organised than they would otherwise look. So you can only imagine what we would be at different points without the parliamentary liaison officer. For Anne, the term 'public servant' is a noble one and the words, when you consider what they say, say it all about the work that Anne has done, and we wish her well.

3:29 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank both the Leader of the House and the Manager of Opposition Business, and we all wish you a very happy retirement.