Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. D.W. Ridgway:
That this council acknowledge the service to the parliament of the Hon. Iain Evans, minister of the Crown from December 1997 until March 2002, and a member of the House of Assembly for the seat of Davenport since 1993.
(Continued from 30 October 2014.)
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 21:14 :44 ): I rise to indicate my support for the motion, and I am grateful to the Hon. Mr Ridgway for bringing it to this council. I think it is appropriate that we acknowledge the efforts in this parliament of the Hon. Iain Evans. Iain was a member of the state parliament for 21 years, and other colleagues have given great detail about the combined service of he and his father Stan to this parliament and, I think, their great commitment to the Westminster system.
I first met Iain at Enterprise House in late 1993. The then premier, Lynn Arnold, had called the election for mid-December, so there was a meeting of candidates, of which Iain was one, and of the state executive, of which I was a member. That is my first recollection of meeting Iain, although I had been well aware of and acquainted with his father, Stan, before that.
I certainly had more to do with the Evans family when I worked for Alexander Downer in the federal seat of Mayo in 1994-95. I particularly had a lot to do with Iain's mother, Barb, who is a wonderful stalwart not only of the Liberal Party but also of the community. She was of great assistance to me as someone my friends in the Hills described as a 'flat-country man' who was trying to work in and understand the machinations of a seat which took in most of the Adelaide Hills and also quite a bit of the near foothill suburbs. During that time, of course, because of Barb's influence in getting people to attend the functions, quite often Iain and his family would be rallied to come along and support whatever Barb was organising.
Soon after coming to this parliament, when Iain was the minister for recreation and sport, he made me his representative on the committee which was coordinating the training activities and associated logistics for quite a number of international sporting teams that were based in Adelaide in the lead-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. That committee went on for some months.
It was a good experience to work with the Office for Recreation and Sport, which was under the leadership of its then chief executive, Simon Forrest. I think that experience served me well in seeing how the private sector, including tourism organisations and accommodation organisations, work together with government and, in my case, a member of parliament. I remember that experience very well.
From very early in my days here, I remember the cricket matches that were played against the media. Sadly, we have not seen any of those for a while. The media side, even though they are blessed with younger members than we are largely, do not seem to be able to get a team together. Certainly, my memories of those early games feature highly the efforts of the Hon. Iain Evans, generally as a batsman, although he would occasionally show his skills bowling and was very enthusiastic in the way he competed. I think, as has been shown in public life and in this place, he is a competitor. When he is in the game, you know he is in the game. As I say, that was particularly demonstrated on the cricket pitch.
Of Iain's 21 years of service to this parliament, I have been a colleague for 17 years, and I suppose I have witnessed on many occasions the great passion that he holds for the seat of Davenport and the general Adelaide Hills area, along with his knowledge of many of the issues that face those large peri-urban areas, such as the transport difficulties and the extraordinary fire risk. Anybody who has been on the Natural Resources Committee in recent years would be well aware of the passion that Iain has brought with his concern about the fire risk and the planning and development issues in relation to fire awareness in his electorate and nearby areas.
Iain also brought great energy to all the portfolios he served, whether in government or in opposition, and I think that even in private life beyond this place we will probably see him show some of that energy in areas about which he is very passionate, particularly the environmental area. Again, I thank the Hon. Mr Ridgway for bringing this motion to the council, and I understand it will be finalised in the next sitting week. With those comments, I wish Iain, Fiona and all the Evans family all the very best for the future.
Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. K.J. Maher.