Home - Claire Moore - Labor Senator for Queensland

ADJOURNMENT - Valedictories

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (19:30): This evening I want to make a short contribution acknowledging the work that both Senator Ludlam and Senator Waters made in and gave to this place. The circumstances of their leaving us have been widely discussed in the media and I won't be looking into that at all. But because I happened to work with both of these senators across a number of areas, particularly on committee work, I thought it was important to make some contribution acknowledging the work that we had done and also to remind people that these two senators gave considerable work and considerable commitment and brought great dedication to their work in this place.

I have worked with Scott Ludlam across many committees over many years. Prior to his working as a senator in this place he worked with Senator Rachel Siewert, and that was where I met him. In his work, particularly in the areas of human rights and social justice, Scott was always generous in his contributions and quite discerning in seeing the best way to make his argument. Whilst I would never use the adjective 'vicious', he was sometimes quite direct in the way he called upon people to be true to their values in what they did in this place. This afternoon, when we had a visit from a delegation from Tibet and met with a number of people who are involved in the issues around the struggle for Tibet, it was almost unreal to sit there and not be able to turn around and see Senator Ludlam there, because that was one of the issues that he had fought for from the time he came into this place. I think that will be remembered.

He also made many contributions-sometimes in the adjournment, sometimes not-around the issue of nuclear disarmament. He has been active at the international level in this space and came into the chamber many times to talk about the need for an international approach where Australia would take a role on issues of nuclear armaments, nuclear energy and the threat that nuclear processors hold for our planet. I think that his work will continue across many of the debates that take place here in the Senate. Scott was also extremely generous in his work with social community groups, and we talked many times about the way the Senate operated and how we could best use this place to get the message across about the issues that are important to so many people.

Senator Larissa Waters was a Queensland senator, and I shared many platforms with her not only during elections-where it seemed that her terms coincided with mine, so she would be there representing the Greens Party and I would be there for Labor-but also in wider community activities. For Senator Waters, the work that we did was increasingly focused on gender equality. I think people particularly remember the work that she did around the domestic violence report that we did a couple of years ago in this place. She pushed very strongly for a Senate inquiry into these issues and throughout the process was very active in ensuring that women and men across the community were engaged in the process and that we had the opportunity to hear real experiences and listen to people who understood the reality of the horror of domestic violence and people from community groups. We shared membership of many of the organisations as well and talked about practical ways to respond to these horrors. The area of gender equality has always been important to Larissa, and I know it will continue to be.

The environment is also very important for Larissa. I first met her as an environmental lawyer. She is completely dedicated to issues of the sanctity of the Great Barrier Reef. Many times we've heard her debating these issues in this place-bringing information to this place, not always receiving the overall support of the chamber, but steadfastly holding to her arguments and ensuring that those arguments were placed before the Senate.

In the Senate, before people leave us, we often have the opportunity to take note of the activities of senators, to wish them well and to ensure that some of their important contributions are acknowledged by their fellow senators. This opportunity was not given, because of the way in which their retirements from this place occurred. But I do very much value the many years of discussion and debate that I shared with these two senators. I acknowledge their commitment to their cause. Whilst we didn't always agree on the policy results, I think that the energy and the commitment they brought were exactly the kinds of skills that we value in this place. I want to put on record my personal acknowledgement of the service they gave us and wish them well in their life after the Senate.