Tuesday, 20 June 2017
I just want to share this with the Senate. I first met Chris when he came here in 2009, full of bravado. At Senate estimates he was going to go in there and bring the government down. Unfortunately for Chris and the rest of us, the minister at the table was Senator Conroy, who carried on like a pork chop, as normal. Chris took offence. I dragged him aside and said: 'Chris, just ignore him. It's Conroy. We do too, mate.' He got over that. He was a fantastic member of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport committees until we lost Chris's involvement a few years ago when the Abbott government won power and he moved over to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committees.
One thing that never surprised me about Chris was that every time he opened his mouth I found that he had another job he used to do. I have just found out that you were in the Middle East. I didn't know that one, mate! One thing I do know is that you are going to be absolutely sorely missed. One thing about Chris with his experience as a vet on the SRRAT committees—where we also had farmers and truckies, me and former Senator Heffernan, and now following in those great shoes, Senator Barry O'Sullivan—was that every time we had a difficult inquiry, Chris would come in, mention big long words, and we would all think: 'Easy. It's fixed. Chris knows everything that's going.' He could have been speaking Latin for all we knew. Mate, you will be sorely missed. I wish you and Linda all the very best from Fiona and me. I am going to miss getting on the plane on Sundays with you and talking about how you and I should start our preseason with South Fremantle, because it is about time we pulled the boots back on. Chris, all the best, brother.