Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Questions without Notice
Senator Ronaldson, Domestic and Family Violence
Mr President, I wonder if I might beg indulgence of the chamber to make a couple of remarks—I know this is a little unusual—before I begin responding to Senator Ronaldson's important question. As honourable senators are aware, Senator Ronaldson announced his intention to resign from the Senate at the end of last year, and this will be his last week among us as a colleague. He has chosen not to give a valedictory speech; I think he has already given one valedictory speech in another place. It may be, I think in fact this is, the very last occasion on which we will have the joy of hearing his rich, deep, reverberant baritone resonate across the chamber. This will be very last occasion on which we will have the pleasure of being enlightened by his penetrating intelligence and wisdom.
Senator Ronaldson has been a very, very well liked senator. He has served with distinction as a minister of the Crown. He has been an important part of the life of this chamber. He has friends from all parties and in every corner of this chamber. He has had a long career—12 years in the House of Representatives and 10 years and eight months in this place—and he has seen more of politics than most do. He has been through the highs and lows. He has borne the lows with dignity and he has enjoyed the highs with grace. Ronno, you have been, if I may say so, a perfect gentleman and a perfect senator, and all of us wish you well in your retirement.