Tuesday 22 March 2005

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mac Le Fevre demonstrated during his term in this House the characteristics of a true independent member. He did not resign from the Australian Labor Party so he could describe himself as an independent when he stood for Cornwall in 1978. As you have heard from the Leader, he had already crossed the Floor several times in the lower House and sat out his final two years there as an independent. Although Mac Le Fevre believed very deeply in much of the philosophy of the ALP, he was certainly no party animal. His loyalty was always to his constituents and he fought for the issues that he believed in. That is perhaps the main reason that he much preferred the environment in this House rather than in the House of Assembly. He could work for his constituents free of the restrictions of party policy and Caucus.

Mac notably stated in an article in the Examiner a few years ago that it was a nonsense to think that anyone could sit in the Legislative Council as a member of a party and as an independent. You could not have it both ways, he said, and he stuck to that philosophy during his six years in this House.

His seat of Cornwall has since been abolished. My predecessor, Ray Bailey, was the member for Cornwall at that time. My constituents in what is now known as Rosevears will probably most remember Mac for his tireless argument for the restoration of the Duck Reach power station. Also, something I am sure pleased the President too, he wanted a much stronger water flow to come down the Gorge during daylight hours, for the benefit of tourists and locals alike. He was as determined on that issue, as he was to change from a fitter and turner into a schoolteacher, to become a politician of principle and certainly to overcome the hardships in his life, like the very serious road accident which left him and his wife, Pat, very seriously injured.

He did have some strong links to Hobart. He was married here to Pat in 1948. He came here to Hobart High School and matriculated at the age of 25. Mac Le Fevre demonstrated the qualities of a truly independent Legislative Councillor and I would like to add my voice of support in this condolence motion. I pass on my condolences to his family, too.