Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Parliamentary Representation


8:00 pm

Photo of Carol BrownCarol Brown (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers) Share this | Hansard source

We've had some great wins. Claire has had some great wins. She's had great victories that have changed the face of our parliament and also the direction of the nation. She's been so supportive of women in parliament. She's been so supportive of EMILY's List. She's never taken a backward step in support of women into parliament. She's a Labor warrior—a quiet one. I'm a bit like that myself; I don't mind. But she is a Labor warrior. On the outside, we're all Labor warriors. We just do it in our own way.

I really don't know what I'm going to do when she goes—I don't want to be presumptuous, but I'm hoping that I might be returned. But I don't know what I'm going to do without my friend. There have been so many contributions that Claire has made, and they've been acknowledged across the chamber. Those who are leaving acknowledge Claire Moore's contributions as being thoughtful and incisive. That, basically, sums up Claire Moore. She has a love for the Labor Party, she has a love for this parliament, and she has a love for her family and friends. I'm going to miss her and I wish her well.

I will also take a few minutes to talk about our other colleague, a more fiery colleague: the wonderful Senator Doug Cameron. The Senate's loss, the parliament's loss, is, obviously, Tasmania's gain. We are looking forward to welcoming Doug to the Tasmanian family, whether he likes it or not, or whether Elaine likes it or not. From the very first time that I met Doug, it was obvious that he was here to make a difference. He was here to put forward the words of workers—what workers need. He was here to hold the government to account. He didn't take a backward step on that, and neither should he. I expect he would say that as well.

His contributions and his ability to articulate an argument are second to none. He has been a stalwart in the labour movement and also in ensuring that working class people are at the foremost of Labor Party policy and thinking. Doug has a special way about him. He doesn't take that backward step, but he has an extraordinary friendship across the aisle. We heard today in his contribution about his friendship with Senator Wacka Williams, as everyone who knows Wacka calls him. I think John is his real name. I actually think Wacka has mellowed in the years since Doug has been here. A couple more years and I reckon he would have crossed over to the Labor side—that's the sort of influence you had on him.

But Doug's love for the Labor Party, his love for the trade union movement, and his ability to always stand up for what he believes in and to stand up for the working people of Australia have been wonderful contributions to this Senate and to this parliament. Again, what's going to happen after 1 July when there's nobody here with that beautiful voice of his—that beautiful voice that cuts through everything that's going on? It's a sad day here today when we're saying goodbye to two loved senators who have made such an extraordinary contribution to the Senate, to the parliament and, more importantly, to the Labor Party policy direction. I know, knowing both of them, that that's not going to stop—and heaven help Tasmania! But I wish you well, Doug, and I wish Elaine well. I'm looking forward to the house-warming party. You will do estimates, of course—we won't let you get out of that—but I just hope that everything that you wish for into the future is yours.


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