The Hon. Dr Bob Such MP - Condolence Motion

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:24 :36 ): I rise to second the motion, and endorse the comments made by the Leader of the Government and add a few of my own.

Firstly, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Mrs Lyn Such and the entire Such family during this most difficult of times. Twenty-five years is a long time to do anything, let alone devote oneself to serving others, and to devote oneself to a career as a public servant and continually advocate for the betterment of the community which you respect. That is exactly what the late member for Fisher (Hon. Dr Bob Such) did.

It is with the greatest sincerity that I say Dr Such leaves behind a legacy—a legacy of being a true Independent with a tireless work ethic. Although his roots stem from the Liberal Party, Dr Such made the decision to run as an Independent because he thought he could better represent his constituents in Fisher. In fact, in his press release announcing his defection from the Liberal Party, Dr Such said:

'My decision today is motivated by a concern for South Australia , and in particular, the people who have elected me'.

I do not think anyone could question the sincerity of that statement made by Mr Such. Although leaving the Liberal Party may not have been a decision I endorsed, it is one which I have respected. The decision was made out of selflessness and a constant aspiration to better service his constituents—the very difficult nature of this decision is a testament to Dr Such's character and lasting legacy.

This condolence motion should be regarded as a celebration of Dr Such's life and his achievements, of which there are many. In parliament, Dr Such was an industrious member with an enormous work ethic, and this did not go unnoticed by his colleagues or his constituents. As the minister suggested, he wrote a voluminous number of letters. Even as members of the opposition who have not had the chance to be ministers, we were still inundated with letters during the time that I have been in this parliament.

Dr Such's hard work was the foundation of a decorated and even enviable parliamentary career. He was a cabinet minister in the Brown government, he was Speaker of the parliament, and he was privileged to win elections on seven occasions and represented the people of Fisher for more than a quarter of a century. Dr Such's legacy is typified by his willingness to tackle every issue which came his way. He was passionate about many things from education standards to legislation against puppy farms, voluntary euthanasia, and a more generous welfare sector.

On a more personal note, I did have the pleasure to sit with Dr Such for a number of years in the ERD Committee, and during that time I gained a great appreciation and respect for him and the number of topics in which he had such a wide interest. One topic in particular was his view about natural burial grounds, and it is at the time of recognising his passing that that comes back to me, as somebody who sat on that committee with him for a number of years.

Without question, Dr Such is one of the most passionate members of parliament that I have come across in my 12 years in this place. Dr Such will be sorely missed, and I think it is safe to say that South Australian parliament has lost one of its true champions.

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