Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2102 ..
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I rise on behalf of the opposition to honour a man that was clearly loved by his colleagues, clearly devoted to his family and work and clearly someone who loved and participated in life to an extent that I think many others would envy. I, unfortunately, did not know Matthew Reynolds, but you only have to read the brief messages that were published on the CPSU website, including one by yourself, Mr Berry, to understand that those that did know him used adjectives that talk about a wonderful man, an enthusiastic man, and just go from there to much higher accolades of an individual that clearly people loved. The whole of the website is just covered with tributes.
On behalf of the opposition, I would like to extend to his wife, Jenny, and their children, Tayla and Joel, our condolences and our thoughts. From what I've been able to read about the man, he was somebody who was well loved by all that he came in contact with. There are a few words that came from Mal Larsen, the former CPSU national deputy president, who said:
Matthew was a gentle man who gave space to those around him. He had a cheeky smile that made you want to know what he was thinking about and he had a unique way with words. His care for his people and love of his family were palpable. If there is a heaven, he'll be organising it. Farewell comrade.
If that is how others saw him, then all we can say is that those of us that never met him are probably worse off for not having done so.
On behalf of the opposition, I would like to offer my condolences not just to his family but certainly to his friends as well, because, from all accounts, he sounds like he was a tremendous fellow. I think the world is a worse place for losing men like that so early in their life.
It is interesting that much is made in the articles that I have read of his commitment to being a donor of his organs. One paragraph in the Canberra Times says:
Matthew Reynolds was a committed organ donor and the gathering heard that in his own premature death he had provided the gift of life to several people.
I think that is a lesson for all of us and a reminder that organs are very special and that perhaps in his death there is some joy for other people. That is something we need to take care of.
To those that knew him and loved him, on behalf of the opposition, we do offer our sincere condolences.
MR CORBELL(Minister for Health and Minister for Planning): Mr Speaker, I first met Matthew Reynolds when he arrived in Canberra in 1998. I was introduced to him at, I think, a Labor Party meeting. I remember meeting him at that time and thinking, "This person looks like a most unlikely national president of the largest public sector union in the country."But I came to know Matthew more closely, although I would never claim to have known him particularly well, when I became Minister for Industrial Relations at the commencement of the Stanhope government.