Bill's Speeches

CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR the Honourable Michael MacKellar AM

SPEECH
CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR the Honourable Michael MacKellar AM

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

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On behalf of the Labor party, I pay my respects to the Honourable Michael MacKellar AM.

Michael lived a life dedicated to his family, his party and his country.

He came to the Federal Parliament in 1969, an agricultural scientist turned politician who regained the seat of Warringah for his party from the maverick former Liberal, Edward St John.

It was as Immigration Minister that Michael saw perhaps his best triumphs in the Parliament. He oversaw Australia’s first comprehensive policy for the resettlement of refugees, subsequently superintended by the Honourable Ian Macphee and John Menadue.

In 1977 Michael Mackellar said:

“I believe that there would be few in this House who would not support a commitment for Australia to play the most effective role possible in refugee settlement…there is a community willingness to assist the dispossessed and displaced from overseas in a sensible and realistic way to seek sanctuary and a new life in Australia.”

It was under Michael’s stewardship that the first Vietnamese refugees found a new home here.

Their place in our nation’s story, their part in our thriving modern, multicultural Australia will stand forever as a tribute to Michael MacKellar’s moderation, compassion and decency.

We salute the service he gave to our nation and we extend our sympathies to his partner, Pamela, children Cameron, Duncan and Maggie, and his grandchildren.

ENDS


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