Tuesday, 8 December 2020
Madigan, Mr John Joseph
I'd just like briefly to add my remarks on this condolence motion. As we've heard this afternoon, John Madigan was a man who was decent, authentic, humble and respectable. He was always a gentleman who expected the highest standard of others because he applied the highest standards in this place. He was a man who brought to this place great conviction. While he was only here for six years, his presence has been deeply felt.
John Madigan came to this place with another important role, and that was as a staunch defender of our Australian Constitution. I engaged with John in working to defeat the Labor government's proposal to recognise local government in the Constitution. John was part of a very, very small group of senators who argued against Labor's referendum bill, voted against Labor's referendum bill and put their names to the official 'no' case against that referendum bill. As some of you might recall, the referendum was never put. The referendum had been defeated in the court of public opinion before Kevin Rudd put himself before the people in that vote.
So John Madigan came to this place and made a tremendous contribution, which I think has been recognised in the remarks of so many people from across the chamber. For my part, he helped preserve the Constitution, kept true to the idea of the federal compact between the states in making this Commonwealth, and for that I know that many, many Australians will be deeply grateful. I would also add my condolences to his family on their sad loss.
Question agreed to, honourable senators standing in their places.