Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


6:54 pm

Photo of David BushbyDavid Bushby (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The incorporated speech read as follows—

As a relatively new Senator, I would like to place on record my strongest appreciation for the service to his state and his country that have been delivered by Senator Chris Ellison in his all too brief 15 & 1/2 years in this place.

My 15 months in the Senate alongside him have not allowed me to get to know him as well as I would have liked. However, 15 months has been more than enough for me to recognise his immense compassion for the people he represents and his great capacity to represent them and his strong and principled approach to difficult and sometimes controversial issues affecting Australians.

I was privileged to spend a short period as a government Senator in the best government this nation has ever seen, the last Coalition Government, and this provided me with an opportunity to observe Senator Ellison in his role as a Minister in that Government.

What I found interesting is that answers to questions without notice by all Ministers other than Senator Ellison, always responded in the traditional raucous behaviour and interjections so often observed during ‘Question Time’.

But when a question was being answered by Senator Ellison, the chamber always fell silent as he clearly, calmly and relevantly answered whatever was thrown at him. The obvious respect that even the most uncouth of the then Opposition showed him, was an absolute testament to his character and his capacity and approach to representing Australians in this place.

There have only been some 533 or so Senators who have ever sat in this place. I am sure that Senator Ellison’s contribution as a Senator for Western Australia, a Government Minister, as Shadow Minister and manager of both Opposition and Government business in the Senate, will prove him to be one of the most respected and capable of all those 533.

He is a true gentleman and a man of character and conviction. I wish him and Caroline the best in his retirement and am sure that he will enjoy the additional freedom he will have to spend time with his young family.


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