Bob Such condolence speech

Chris spoke in Parliament as part of the condolence motion for the late Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Member for Fisher.

I rise briefly to also add my condolences on this motion. I did not have the pleasure of serving in this house with Bob, although I did have the pleasure of working with him from time to time when I used to work in the state government five or six years ago for the previous health minister, John Hill. I know John, along with all the other former members of the house here today—Lyn, Gay, Robyn and Ivan—sends his condolences to Bob's family. 

Bob was a tremendous advocate for the southern suburbs community, for the policy issues he felt passionate about and for the many creative ideas which he would come up with almost daily, and these had two manifestations. Firstly, private members' business in the house became more vibrant and creative. Parties were pushed to debating issues that would otherwise not necessarily have seen the light of day. I think one of his legacies to this day is that the Labor Party's caucus agenda has had to be changed to accommodate all the motions that Bob would put up for debate. 

Secondly, he had a constant stream of letters to ministers, as the Minister for Manufacturing mentioned, many of which were sometimes one or two-line ideas that no doubt were written or put into a dictaphone late at night, but they would send departments and ministerial officers into a flurry of activity to respond to. I think it was a very good thing for the Public Service to consider new ideas and also to defend their positions on policy matters and push the boundaries of their thinking. 

In the health portfolio there were two specific examples of policy issues that I can think of where Bob's drive and persistence led to changes that we see today. First, his advocacy for men's health and his involvement in the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health has been mentioned. He pushed the government to develop the first men's health policy for the state, which is now in place, and also to achieving public patient access to the da Vinci machine for prostate cancer treatment, which is something he was obviously very passionate about. 

His other legacy in this area was in terms of scores on doors, to give consumers greater information on the public health performance of restaurants and other food establishments. I know the current Minister for Health, in recent days, has taken further steps in that regard which will be seen as another great legacy of Bob's work. So, I would like to add my condolences to Lyn and his family on their loss. I assure you that Bob has left a tremendous legacy for this state that will long be remembered. 

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