Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Scott, Mr Raymond
Today I rise to say goodbye to a good friend and a great Australian, Raymond Scott. After his long battle with cancer, Ray was taken from us on 13 July this year. He was a man I deeply respected who was always focused on the national interest and how we build a better Australia. Before I was given the great privilege of representing the people of Barker in this place, I knew of Ray, but in the last seven years Ray became a mentor and a close confidant who was incredibly generous with his time and always available to discuss issues I needed advice on. He believed in protecting the values that made this nation great. He was a fierce advocate for the things he believed in, including the south-east, the trucking industry and agriculture, to name a few. The impact he had on his hometown of Mount Gambier is immeasurable. His loss will be one that the Mount Gambier community will feel for a very long time.
As all of us here know, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and that was true for Raymond as well. In Ray's case, his father, Allan Scott AO, was a trucking magnate and also his biggest supporter. Ray was Allan's best operator. According to Allan, Ray was the most efficient on tyres and fuel and always kept his truck in perfect condition. He earned the respect of his father, and in time he earned the respect of the community. As a child, Ray was obsessed with trucks, and in school he dreamt of driving himself. By the age of 22, that hadn't faded, and he was sent by the Scott enterprise to the Northern Territory to run a long-term oil-hauling contract. This responsibility was the first of many that would build him into a pillar of the business community in the south-east of South Australia.
With his father's passing in 2008, Ray began his own transport company, aptly named Raymond Scott Transport. His business group was also established—Southern Blasters, Southern Paint & Panel, Scott's Motorsport and Triple S Distributors. Ray's long-term commitment to the trucking industry was recognised in 2013, when he was inducted into the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. Alongside his trucking interests, Ray dedicated 40 years of his life to agriculture. His business Ray Scott Pastoral employs roughly 30 people, with properties in Townsville, Rockhampton, Ingleby, Echo Hills, Barham and Mount Gambier. For Ray, this enterprise represented the challenge of learning the new industry combined with his passion for driving. Along with running the operations of the enterprise, Ray also drove road trains through Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia to deliver farm equipment, hay and whatever else was required. Among his colleagues, he was known for getting on with the job, no matter the task.
Ray's business interests revolved around building a robust regional community with strong industries. But Ray's contribution to our community extended way past his industrial involvement. He was a significant contributor to the greater Mount Gambier region in South Australia and nationally regarding employment sponsorship and community involvement. It was in that capacity that I came to know Ray best. Because of his understated humility, Ray's kindness and willingness always to lend a helping hand were not fully or always acknowledged. He was the best kind of citizen, one who shows kindness and makes a contribution, without seeking acknowledgement or reward. An example of that was his long-term position as patron of the charitable foundation Stand like Stone, which provides philanthropic contributions to people throughout the south-east. His achievements are far too many to mention in the time the House has afforded me this evening, which is probably just as well, because I think I can hear Ray right now telling me to get on with it and suggesting that everyone has heard enough already.
As I've said, his loss will be felt hard in my home town of Mount Gambier, where he was a pillar of our community, and he will not be easily replaced. I extend our sympathies and prayers to his wife, Jill, their three children, Prue, Ashley and Libby, as well as his seven beloved grandchildren, Lachie, Alex, Parker, Ellie, Harrison, Sam and Stella. Ray was a trucking man, but, beyond that, I want to thank him for his service to the community and to our nation. I'm lucky to have had a personal relationship with Ray, and I'm a better person for having known him, as our country and my local community are better for his contribution to them. 'A great Australian' is a title reserved, appropriately, for very few of our fellow citizens. Vale, Ray Scott, a great Australian.