THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
RESIGNATION OF SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY
It’s a pleasure to congratulate Stephen Conroy on a remarkable twenty years of service to the Senate, the most recent phase of his lifetime commitment to the Labor party.
Stephen is a devotee of modern technology, but also a model of old-fashioned Labor values. Stephen has never forgotten where he comes from, or the political tradition he belongs to.
On so many hard economic and social questions, Stephen speaks for Australians whose voices often go unheard: from workers on low incomes to people doing it tough on pensions and benefits. In a typically generous way, his farewell remarks reflected fondly on the many long policy conversations he, Jenny Macklin, Wayne Swan and myself had shared over the years. I treasure those memories.
He is also one of the most articulate and passionate critics of nuclear power generation Australia has ever known, his legacy on this issue – as with the National Broadband Network – will be enlarged by history.
Although Stephen Conroy’s announcement today came as something of a surprise to me, in another sense it is no surprise at all. Not a sitting day passes in Canberra without Stephen talking proudly of the achievements of the wife and daughter he adores.
No one could know Stephen without knowing how much he loves and misses Paula and Bella. I know Stephen will adore spending more time watching his daughter grow up and his wife continue to star in her impressive career.
Stephen’s is a decision made with love – and he leaves the parliament with our very warmest wishes.
The Labor party will miss him as one of our most effective Senators, and I will miss him personally as a friend and comrade.