Thursday, 2 September 2021
COVID-19: Income Support Payments
Since this is the last general business debate for Senator Siewert, I would like to take a minute to say thank you for your work and your support over the time that we've worked together. As a new senator and a member of the community affairs committee, and in the pre-COVID world, I used to joke that I spent more time with Senator Askew than I did with my own family. But, of course, you were always there as well, Senator Siewert. We also had a couple of WA trips together where we were the only two physically holding up the fort. Whilst there have been more issues we've disagreed on than agreed on—and we'll get to those soon—you've always conducted yourself professionally and demonstrated a tireless work ethic, and you're someone who I believe is innately decent. For some of us on the opposite side of organisations such as the Unemployed Workers Union—I know you've tried to explain them to me, but it still eludes me—you were always supportive when the political discourse went far beyond being anywhere near appropriate behaviour. You never made politics personal. You supported everyone on the community affairs committee and always understood if there were family circumstances afoot, and quite often they were discussed over a wine in an airport lounge in between hearing venues. I, for one, will miss your contribution to this place, and I wish you all the best.