House debates

Wednesday, 13 May 2020


Causley, Hon. Ian Raymond, More, Dr Amarjit Singh, COVID-19: Economy

4:30 pm

Photo of Kevin HoganKevin Hogan (Page, National Party, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to acknowledge the passing of the Hon. Ian Causley. Ian was the state member for Clarence from 1984 to 1996 and was indeed a distinguished minister in the state parliament. He then transferred to federal politics and became the member for Page from 1996 until he retired at the 2007 election. For much of the time that he was in federal parliament he was indeed the Deputy Speaker. So it was with great pride that in two of those things I've actually been able to follow Ian—as the member for Page and also, for a time, as the Deputy Speaker.

Ian was a very proud member of the Nationals. He was a very important figure within the party and also a very important figure in our community. Ian and his wonderful wife, June, who passed prior to Ian, were a great guide to Karen and me, especially when I was first elected. Ian and June did the job together, and, again, it was a great example for Karen and me in doing this job successfully. It is much easier when you do it together with your partner. They were both very passionate advocates for our region, and both Ian and June were active people. Ian obviously was a party member and associated with a lot of different groups and bodies within our community besides politics. He was the president of the Clarence River canegrowers association. He was a director of the Iluka Bowls Club, a director of the New South Wales Sugar Milling Co-operative and a member of New South Wales Cane Growers.

I will always remember something Ian told me very early on, when I started to become involved more actively in politics. He said that you didn't necessarily need people to always agree with you, because they never would, as long as they respected you and they knew where you were coming from. He was a larger-than-life character in many, many ways. I'll miss him, and I know many people around the community will miss him, but my thoughts are with his children and their families, including Craig and Amanda, and Marcelle and Scott. Marcelle was kind enough to come and see me. Ian went downhill quite quickly in the end. Marcelle and Scott came to see me one afternoon and said, 'Look, Ian has not got much time left. He's only got a few days left.' Indeed, he died that night. So very much thanks to Marcelle I was able to get a message to Ian before he passed. To Derek and Shane and Tracy, and also to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Bryce, Sam, Amelia, Casey, Chloe, Renae, Dylan, Evie and Samuel: your father, your father-in-law and your grandfather was a greatly respected person in our community. May he rest in peace.

I'd like to acknowledge Dr More from Woolgoolga, who, sadly, has passed away. Dr More was obviously a doctor, but he was a longstanding leader in the Sikh community on the northern beaches of Coffs Harbour. He migrated to Woolgoolga with his family as a young boy. Despite having no English on arrival, his intellect and personable manner shone through. He was elected the school captain at the Woolgoolga central school and completed his high school studies at Coffs Harbour High School. He then qualified to study medicine at the University of Queensland. He returned to Woolgoolga immediately following completion of his medical internship to establish his own general practice.

He led Woolgoolga's bid to host the 1995 Australian Sikh Games, the first time the games were held outside a metropolitan area. It was significant, given the size of the town. Since then, Woolgoolga has hosted the Australian Sikh Games in 2003, 2009 and 2015. He recently led the 20-year fundraising effort and construction project to build the iconic temple on the site of Australia's Gurdwara building. His own father has also been involved, and I will never forget the smile on his face the day it opened.

He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle to Sarvjit, Ashley, Amandeep, Sasha, Gurjit, Shabnam, Inderjit, Amrita, Parminder, Disa, Jagtar and their families. May he rest in peace.

I don't think anyone in this chamber or around the country could ever have predicted what our country and indeed the globe has been through in the last few months. It's something that was impossible to predict. But I'd like acknowledge our frontline workers: our nurses, doctors, medical staff. As a country, we've made a great effort to flatten the curve, and the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been so far so good, in the sense of its impact on us. But I'm also very conscious of the economic impact that this has had on our small businesses and on people's jobs and livelihoods. The public may rest assured that we will do everything to get this economy back and going.