Valedictory for the Hon. Gerry Kandelaars, MLC

I rise briefly to speak to this motion. Like some others, I first became aware of the Hon. Mr Kandelaars before he came to this place, when he was working for the then member for Torrens, Robyn Geraghty. I suppose since he has been here I became, initially, like many, well aware of his fierce defence of the ALP, as has been mentioned, and its policies, but I also think that he became well known through the various committees on which he served and chaired, some of which I shared membership with him. 

He became well known for the pursuit of any witness who he thought was trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the committee, whether it be executives of mining or fracking bodies or whether it be, to be fair, public servants. If he thought they were trying to pull the wool over his eyes or over the eyes of anybody else, Gerry was pretty relentless in his pursuit, and that is a great credit to him. 

I shared membership of the Natural Resources Committee with Gerry on I think two separate occasions—there was a break there for a while—and also more recently the Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Committee, which we really do need to rename. On both those committees that Gerry and I worked on, we worked very well with other people, under the very good chairmanship of the member for Ashford, the Hon. Steph Key. 

We also worked on select committees, and on a couple of those select committees Gerry was the only government member who was prepared to put up his hand. While he did his best for the government's position, as I said earlier, if he did suspect that someone was trying to be a bit smart with a committee he would let them know that he was across the game. 

Very early in his career I remember saying to the whip of the day, and it may have been the Hon. Mr Gazzola, and it might have gone on to the current leader of the government, 'Give Gerry more to do, will you? He reads too much.' While a lot of us only seemed to find time to scan a lot of things, Gerry seemed to be able to read every word. 

It would be remiss of me not to mention some of the causes that Gerry has supported as a member of parliament. Obviously, White Ribbon is very high on my list and means a lot to me, and Gerry's advocacy in relation to the renewal of ambassadors has been valuable, although I have to tell you that they have not sorted out all their issues. 

His support for my work in suicide prevention has been behind-the-scenes, but I have been aware of it, and I appreciate it. He also joined me in being a strong advocate for Operation Flinders. Even through Glenys's illness last year, Gerry still came along and helped me cohost the event here for Operation Flinders. I appreciate that Gerry. 

Finally, we all remember that at various times Gerry has served, not only as the acting president, but also as the acting whip, and so I have had to deal with him even more closely in that regard. He put every effort into doing his absolute best in those roles. 

Gerry—and I call the Hon. Mr Kandelaars Gerry—I wish you and Glenys well. I have great admiration for the decision that you have made. Every best wish.

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