Page 1856 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 17 June 2008

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left-of-centre government which was probably more sympathetic to the Residents Rally’s natural constituency.

On the one hand you might say that it was a masterful stroke by Trevor to do those people over; on the other hand you might say it was just a breaking down of something that could not survive. However, it survived for a long time. When you look at the characters that were involved, it survived for a very long time. No matter what people have said about Trevor Kaine’s prickly nature, he was still able to hold that group of people together for a very long time. Anyway, it was one of life’s experiences that you do not forget.

In all of the times that I had to deal with Trevor—many have said this—I could always rely on him to stand by his word. That was always the case. I do not want to repeat too many things that people have said, but it has been said that he would always tell you what he felt and you could always rely on him sticking to that position no matter what the case. If he was going to change his mind, the first person he would tell would be you.

I was later dethroned as a minister, and I was in no doubt about where Trevor was coming from. I do not hold any grudges against Trevor for his position in relation to those matters, because that was the scene. It was always expected that he would take an honourable position in any of the decisions that he made in this place.

His contribution on the economic front was extraordinarily valuable. Aside from the Labor Party, there were no other people with the necessary experience to look at the financial needs of this new self-government. It was extremely important to have somebody like Trevor on the other side of the house gingering up the government on economic issues. Trevor did that masterfully. He was an extraordinary, able financial person and somebody who made a major contribution to the development of self-government here in the territory.

I do recall his humour; he had a good sense of humour. After he got his pilots licence I recall one time mentioning that Mrs Carnell and Mr De Domenico might be worried if they heard a light aircraft buzzing around overhead. I think I referred to him as the Blue Baron or something like that. You could sense the tension was growing because Trevor’s style of politics was completely different. He was not one for the fizz; he was one for the substance, and he always stuck to that line.

The cracks, of course, opened inexorably over the hospital implosion and Trevor thought that he was being fitted up with some of that. I think there might have been an attempt to fit him up with some of it, and Trevor reacted badly to that. I think that was the beginning of the end so far as his connection with the Liberal Party was concerned. When people tear themselves away from something they have been involved with over a long time, there is an element of sadness about that. Nevertheless, it was done on principle, and Trevor did it because he believed in what he was doing. He carried himself through to become an independent and to try to represent the people of the Tuggeranong Valley as an independent. That was a difficult call, and, in the end, it failed to realise his election the next time round.

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