Page 1850 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 17 June 2008

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Kerrie Tucker shared the crossbench with Trevor Kaine for some time after he left the Liberal Party. She tells me that they were sometimes referred to as the odd couple on the crossbench. Kerrie has asked me to pass on her personal condolences to Trevor’s family. She said:

Working with Trevor on the crossbench was an unexpected pleasure. While I had always respected his contribution up to that time, I had not before had the chance to get to know him: how charming he was; his wit, and his sense of humour. Sometimes during debates he would offer a quiet commentary which would leave me either laughing or wondering at the insights he offered. And while we had quite different views on some issues of policy, Trevor and I agreed on the importance of accountable public administration, and I always found his thoughts on such matters to be informative and informed.

One of the things that made me really enjoy sharing the crossbench with Trevor was his pleasure in the whole Assembly. I understand from the outside we may have seemed like an “odd couple”, but from my perspective it was always easy working with Trevor. What is not to like about a person who after all those years in the Assembly could say in the last days of the Fourth Assembly, “As this Fourth Assembly reaches the last minutes of its life, I would like to record the level of sheer fun and joy I have had in this place over the last three and a half years. It is a wonderful, exhilarating experience to get up every morning, to come to work, and to know that you are working with a team of 16 other dedicated professional people all working together in the public interest.” There is something about that that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. I am sure that Trevor will be sorely missed by all those close to him.

My own observation is that politics is not always kind to its practitioners, and the media is always looking for weak points. The fact that Trevor Kaine has emerged from his years of political and media scrutiny with the strong reputation that he has as a man of honour and integrity indicates that this is exactly the kind of man that he was.

On behalf of the ACT Greens, I join the Assembly in this expression of condolence to the family and friends of Trevor Kaine. He was a Canberran who made a difference for the city that he loved.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.54): I rise to add my condolences to the family and friends of Trevor Kaine on his passing. I simply want to reflect briefly on the contribution that Mr Kaine made to this place and my experiences with him.

I was first elected to the Assembly in 1997. At that time Trevor Kaine was a minister in the first Carnell government, and I was made his shadow on issues to do with economic development and tourism. I recall a number of exchanges across the chamber at that time. I sensed that Mr Kaine was somewhat perturbed that a young man of 26 should be made his shadow, given his extensive experience, knowledge and expertise in the business of government. Having said that, Trevor Kaine proved to be, for me, someone from whom you could always learn something. Indeed, in the latter years of his time in the Assembly, I got to know Trevor better, particularly when he was an independent crossbench member. I recall particularly some of the lessons he gave this place in relation to governance.

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