MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (13:38): I rise to acknowledge the passing of a former member for Melbourne Province and good friend, Doug Walpole. Doug’s contribution to working people and progressive politics is well recognised across the labour movement, initially through his time as an Electrical Trades Union (ETU) official and subsequently as an officer within my own union, the vehicle builders union. His commitment to ensuring that anti-worker legislation was opposed at every turn was a defining feature of his time with both those unions.
His commitment ultimately led him to pursue a political career. As a member for Melbourne Province, Doug was part of a new wave of parliamentarians in the minority upper house that was charged with the responsibility of taking up Labor’s challenge to the Kennett government. It was not an easy time for Labor, but he and all the other Labor members did take up this challenge with gusto and ultimately saw Labor into government.
Doug was a stylish man, easily recognised in a crowd by his silver-grey ponytail, which if I may say, President, seems to be a trait of great former ETU officials. He was a lifelong friend to my husband, Ian, and was married to Jo Fox in Tasmania, a wedding which we had the privilege of attending. He will be sorely missed by all and remembered fondly as a loving father and devoted grandfather by his family. Rest in peace, Doug.