Condolence Motion - Hon Dr Robert Bruce Such, Member for Fisher

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 14:59 ): I rise today to support the condolence motion in honour of Bob Such. Too many times in this place we rise for condolence motions, but you do not expect to speak about someone you have served with, and such a nice bloke, as Bob Such was. When I first entered this place he was one of the first people to welcome me here. Over the years I heard many stories of when he visited my electorate—because he had family (a sister) up there—and how many times he had been out there shooting a few rabbits, having a look around and seeing what was going on.

Having said that, Bob had a bigger view of the world, obviously, than just the seat of Fisher, which he served so admirably for those 24 or 25 years. He had a view right across the state, across the country and across the world. He would always want to know how the farmers were going and spoke of what he had seen out there when he was out and about. I remember one thing he did when he travelled about. He had been up to the Broken Hill Agfair one day and he always grabbed a lot of brochures when he was about so that he could remind himself of what he had seen. It was obviously a great record of where he had been.

I sat on a couple of select committees with Bob. One was the antisocial and criminal behaviour select committee, which Bob chaired. It only went for a short time before the rising of the last parliament. There was also the inquiry into dogs and cats as companion animals. I do not know which was more controversial, quite frankly, but the amount of correspondence we get on dogs and cats—I think I probably speak for everyone in this house—is quite large. I am not trying to make the issue of antisocial and criminal behaviour a small one, but it goes to show the breadth of issues that can be brought to this house, and obviously the interest that Bob had to be involved in issues, no matter where he thought they were in the spectrum.

Bob was always passionate about issues. I note the Treasurer spoke about Bob and his campaign about euthanasia. It is something I do not agree with, but I had a lot of respect for the way Bob used his passion and brought people in to talk to anyone who was interested on either side of the argument. Even though he had his view, he always made sure that everyone could get their view—and a balanced one at that—on the situation with any issue.

There was 'Bob time' (the notices of motion). We all miss that loud voice coming from over on our crossbenches, popping up for his notices of motion, and sometimes several notices of motion. He would fill up the pages with lots of legislation to discuss. I remember opening day of parliament. I had a thought that day that I may never see Bob again—sadly, I was right. Coming into the chamber that day, Bob was in his seat back here on the crossbenches and I leaned down and was talking to him. One of the attendants (I think it was Kane) had to come and grab me and say, 'Look, the Speaker is about to come in, you're holding up the show.' I said, 'I'm having a lovely time,' and I was. I was having a great discussion with Bob. I am glad I made that time and I do not apologise for a minute if I held up proceedings for a few seconds or even a minute or two.

This is a very sad time. For anyone to serve their community for that long and to serve right up to the end of their life is a fantastic thing. I offer my condolences to Lyn, the staff and the family.