Politics can be a brutal business.
For Malcolm, for Lucy, for their family and for his personal staff, who are as loyal and as close as family, this is a very hard day indeed.
In 2016, Malcolm and I led our two parties in the longest election campaign in fifty years and in some respects, I suppose we have been engaged in that same contest in the two years since.
But for all our verbal conflict, for all the fierce words we’ve exchanged, I hope Malcolm knows that I have always respected him as a formidable opponent, as an advocate of great intellect and eloquence and as someone who came to parliament, relatively late in life, because he was driven by the desire to serve.
Australian politics will always need people like that, on all sides.
The final observation I would make may seem a small thing but I believe it says a great deal.
On many occasions, Malcolm and I would speak at the same events. I don’t think any Australian Prime Minister has used the word ‘love’ more frequently in his public remarks.
Anyone who listened to him speak could always hear his deep and profound love for his wife Lucy, for their children and grandchildren. But also his abiding love for our country.
I hope the future brings Malcolm plenty of relaxing paddles in the kayak, plenty of stories to read and re-read to the grandchildren - and many long and happy days with his loved ones.
Chloe and I wish him, Lucy and their family well.