Michelle Lensink

Former And New Members

This speech is to welcome new members to the legislative council and farewell the Hon. Ian Gilfillan.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I wish to add a few brief comments to those that have already been made. Naturally, I welcome the new members to this place. No doubt you have had a tough contest to find your way to the Legislative Council, and I trust that you will find it as fruitful as have the rest of us. I would like to pay tribute to a few of the departed members, in particular, the Hon. Angus Redford who was a very tenacious debater. He was very keen on drilling down to issues, looking at them in some detail, and finding the political angle.

Also, I think he was most adept in translating a number of those issues into language that could be understood in the community; and, as a consequence, he had quite a high media profile. I think it is a loss to the parliament that he has not continued to be a colleague of ours in the House of Assembly. The Hon. Julian Stefani, my other Liberal Party colleague, had a long interest in multicultural affairs. I represented our shadow ministers and leaders at several functions. Julian was always invited in his own right as an icon of multicultural communities and he worked tirelessly for those communities.

I shall miss the Hon. Ian Gilfillan's wit. As one who would quietly sit and observe from the back stalls and throw in a curly comment, I thought he was a very kind and very clever fellow who had a great understanding of the history of a number of issues in this parliament. Finally, I pay tribute to the Hon. Kate Reynolds. I would like to add to the comments that have been made today. I think that the Hon. Kate Reynolds was very passionate and determined, and she was undeterred by many of the criticisms that were thrown at her, particularly by members of the government. She was unstinting in her beliefs on social justice and, while there would have been occasions when I did not agree with her, I think it is a sad loss that she is no longer with us. I trust that this chamber—and, in particular, the minor parties—will bear in mind that we do not need to polarise the political spectrum any further. It has been a strength of this parliament that members have voted together in various combinations during debates. In my view, the role of this place is to consider matters in the best interests of South Australia and vote accordingly.

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