Page 1402 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 May 2017

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The job of government is to decide how to distribute resources, but it’s also to make sure that everything is fair as much as possible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s police or about sport or any of those things, you try and make it even, so that everybody has the same opportunities.

In his first speech to this place he expressed his view that politics is about compromise and working together for the greater good. It was his view that we all here—Labor, Liberal and Greens—find ourselves in this place because we share a commitment to making Canberra as good as it can be. That is the kind of man Jayson was: open to diversity of opinion and willing to work across the political divide to get a good outcome.

The Labor Party was, of course, not the only conduit Jayson used to contribute to his community. His time as chairman of the Bendigo Community Bank saw the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity and to sporting groups. He served as a board member for the Police and Citizens Youth Club, the Physical Activity Foundation, Canberra stadium and the Labor Club Group. His record of contribution outside of politics was remarkable and it shows that politics is not the only way that we can effect change for those around us.

Jayson’s accomplishments were based on his significant real-life experience. The path from mechanic to lawyer to politician is perhaps not such a well-trodden one these days. Jayson walked this path with his wife, Lisa, whilst raising his three children, Madeleine, Nigel and Oliver. He was a family man who loved to share his children’s achievements with those around him.

There were two great recreational passions that Jayson pursued. First and foremost, and perhaps most visible to all of us during the 2016 election, was his love of cars and motorbikes. Jayson spent much of his time with wheels on the road and wind in his hair.

Jayson’s other great passion was his love of sport. He championed the beloved ACT Veterans Rugby Union team that he played for and he coached numerous local sporting teams. He was, as we are all aware, an avid fan of the Brumbies and the Raiders and was never—and I mean never—short of an opinion about their fluctuating fortunes through the footy season.

Many of us sitting in this place worked alongside Jayson. He was our friend, our colleague, but he was our mate, Madam Speaker. I know he would want to be remembered as a good bloke who worked hard and fought hard for what he cared about.

The death of anybody before their time is a tragedy that forces us to reflect on our own mortality. Jayson was a larger than life figure, the kind of person you would have thought was indestructible. Jayson’s life and his untimely death are reminders that we should be kind to one another in all areas of life and in everything that we do. We can never predict when unfortunate events will cut short our time together.

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