Thursday, 17 February 2022
Statements on Indulgence
On 18 February 2022, Senator Payne will become the longest-serving woman senator in Australian history. That eclipses the incredible record of Senator Tangney, who served for 9,080 days. Tomorrow, Senator Payne will also be the longest continuing serving member of this parliament. That is an extraordinary achievement and I think it is an enormous encouragement to all women of this country and young girls in this country. She has been a great servant of this parliament, a great servant of our party and a great servant of this government as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence and in many other roles. I commend her on this. She is now on her way to Europe to take part in the Indo-Pacific conference that is being held there. I congratulate her on her many achievements, I look forward to continuing to work with her in the important work she is doing as part of our government and I congratulate her.
Honourable members: Hear, hear!
I join with the Prime Minister in congratulating Senator Payne on what is a substantial achievement in a long and distinguished career in the Senate and as a minister. Marise Payne was the president of the New South Wales Young Liberals while I was the president of New South Wales Young Labor. We had a program of going around to schools to have debates and encourage young people in terms of civic involvement and engagement. I got to know Marise Payne very well while we were both much younger.
There is something to be said about longevity in parliamentary careers—you do get better, you do learn. Marise Payne is someone who has a good relationship with people on both sides of the chamber. I think she is widely respected. I wish her well and congratulate her on this substantial achievement. As the Prime Minister said, increasingly we will see women break records. That's a good thing. We need to be more representative of the population. That means the parliament should reflect Australian society, which, after all, is fifty-fifty.
Hono urable members: Hear, hear!