Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5076 ..

Through Soccer Canberra and many other organisations, Steve was a champion for the sport locally, particularly using it as a way for Canberrans across the world to form new bonds and long-lasting relationships. For a very long time, Steve and I shared the sports portfolio across this chamber. He was a diligent and knowledgeable shadow minister for sport who always kept this minister on his toes.

I was honoured this week to offer Steve’s family a state funeral service as a mark of respect and in recognition of his contribution to the people of the ACT, both through his long service as a member of the Legislative Assembly and through the numerous community and charitable organisations that he devoted his time and his efforts to.

At this difficult time my thoughts and those of my colleagues, and indeed everyone in the ACT government, are with Maureen and the extended Doszpot family and friends. We do note with great sadness Steve’s passing, but I acknowledge no more fitting a gesture in this place than what sits at his table now [a soccer ball].

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.05): It is too soon that we are meeting in these circumstances. The Assembly is down a man. But whilst the Liberals have only 10 players on the pitch, Steve still has the ball.

What we saw in Steve over the last 12 months was an extraordinary demonstration of humility, compassion, strength and selflessness. I remember having a coffee with him in Yarralumla, back in January. He passed on the news to me about his illness. He told me that the initial prognosis was not good, but he was going to fight it, and fight it he did.

As I said in my statement on the weekend, here was a person who had every reason to be self-absorbed, but he was not. He was the opposite. He would frequently apologise for not doing more work or for not being able to participate as much as he would like. Of course, I would tell him that no apology was necessary, but he was always more concerned about everyone else than himself. Steve was a team player.

I know Steve was delighted to see Australia progress to the World Cup finals just two weeks ago. I know these World Cup finals and those campaigns over the years have brought so much joy and heartbreak to millions of football fans, including Steve. Now he joins friends and football fans such as Johnny Warren, Charlie Perkins and Les Murray as past champions of the world game in Australia.

A few weeks ago we all got to share our thoughts about Steve’s legacy and express our thanks in person for the friendship that we have all had with him. Steve served our city with distinction. He was a great man. I am pleased that he and his family were able to hear from his colleagues just how much we respect him.

I am also pleased that Steve will be honoured with a state funeral, and I thank the Chief Minister for offering the family this. On Friday our city will formally say goodbye to the young boy from Budapest who came to Australia not knowing any English, who worked hard, raised a family, started a business, thrived in the commercial world and became a member of parliament. It is a great Australian story.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video