Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Statements by Senators
In the couple of minutes remaining to me, I want to congratulate Senator Heffernan on his contribution today and wish him all the best in his retirement. I also want to note there are two retiring Queensland Labor senators, so today is somewhat tinged with sadness for us. I acknowledge Senator McLucas's distinguished and dignified contribution to this place. I also want to quickly pay tribute to Senator Ludwig, who is leaving us. Many people here would not be aware of the fact that Senator Ludwig worked as a trade union official before coming here. We spent some time together—our two unions working collaboratively together for the interests of our members. He worked as an industrial advocate for the Australian Workers' Union and made a substantial contribution there. I do not want to traverse all of Senator Ludwig's contribution in terms of party positions, committee work and ministerial appointments, including Minister for Human Services, Special Minister of State, Cabinet Secretary and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
On this side of the chamber, we will miss his strategic insights and his knowledge of parliamentary procedure. One of the many pieces of unsolicited advice I received from Senator Ludwig in recent years was that: if you are in politics and you need a friend, then you should get a dog. Senator Ludwig leaves this place with his head held high and perhaps a few extra friends than he thought he had.