Page 3387 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 11 October 1994

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   Tuesday, 11 October 1994


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Mr Laurie Daniels, who made a significant contribution to both the Australian Public Service and the Canberra community, and tenders its profound sympathy to his wife and children in their bereavement.

Members will be aware that Laurie Daniels died recently at the age of 78. Mr Daniels was an accomplished and professional public servant, and it is fitting that today we remember him and acknowledge his valuable contribution to the public service and to the Canberra community. Laurie Daniels was born in Adelaide in 1916. He left school at the age of 17 and went to Sydney, where, by examination, he won one of approximately 50 public service vacancies. He joined the taxation department; he studied accountancy, and later completed a degree in economics.

Mr Daniels and his wife, Joyce, moved to Canberra in 1946, where he joined the Health Department in 1953, after 19 years with the tax department. His specialty was health insurance; and he rose to become the first assistant director-general. Health insurance was merged with social services to form the first Department of Social Security under the Whitlam Government, and Laurie Daniels was appointed secretary. Mr Daniels was closely involved with the development of Medibank and the development of the family allowances program. During his time as Secretary to the Department of Social Security, there was a major increase in the size of the department, and he made conscious and visible efforts to give the department and its officers a human and consumer-friendly touch.

In 1977 Mr Daniels moved to the position of head of the Department of the Capital Territory, which was then responsible for the administration of the ACT. Members may recall that this was a rather difficult period in Canberra's administrative history, leading up to and following the outcome of the 1978 Ellicott referendum on self-government. It would be fair to say that relations between the Federal Ministers responsible for the ACT at that time and the Canberra community were, at times, strained. Throughout this period, as head of ACT administration, Mr Daniels stood out as a very fair and caring person who worked hard in the interests of the ACT community.

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