Senate debates

Monday, 28 March 2022


Kitching, Senator Kimberley Jane Elizabeth

10:52 am

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

Kimberley Kitching—we talked, we agreed, we disagreed, we laughed. We even dined, as she sought to build a bridge to the crossbench. I've been reflecting on Kimberley over the last short period, and there was one thing about her that really struck me as different, particularly in this place. She would always bump into me in the corridor—sometimes I thought she was stalking me, it happened so often! She would always say g'day and be really cheery, and then she'd do something that's really unusual for senators: she would ask you what you thought about something, instead of what we normally do, which is to tell the other senator what you think. That was something about Kimberley that struck me as being very different.

I worked with Kimberley a little bit on the Magnitsky bill. She was very strong on China. She moved a motion, co-sponsored by me. It was perhaps not approved by her party, but she cared a lot about that particular issue. The one area where she really did work very closely with me was in relation to my bill to have goods and services made by slave labour in Xinjiang prohibited from entering into this country. In the end, the committee manoeuvred and agreed—quite properly, and I was very glad they did—to extend that ban to all jurisdictions, and that's proper. It was Kimberley that worked with me. There were others—Senator Fawcett and others—that contributed, but she did a lot of work in that space.

Just on committees, as well—as a crossbencher I was trying to get the call, and that's not always easy, particularly in foreign affairs, defence, and trade and particularly when Senator Abetz is chairing. I could always go to Kimberley and plead with her for a bit of extra time, and she would give it to me. She was such a wonderful lady. She always tried to accommodate.

I think she's a huge loss to the Labor Party. I think she's a huge loss to the Senate, the parliament, Victoria and Australia. She was my friend and I will miss her. Vale Kimberley.


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