The Speaker of the House of Representatives and Member for Casey, The Hon. Tony Smith, has announced his decision to retire from Parliament at the next election.
Tony has been a dear friend and colleague for over twenty years. His presence in the Parliament and Parliamentary Liberal Party will be greatly missed.
Tony has served as the Member for Casey for more than twenty years, where he performed a wide variety of roles in both Government and Opposition.
However, it has been in his role as Speaker that Tony has certainly made his mark. Tony has been an outstanding Speaker, in the true Westminster tradition.
Tony Smith’s intellect, temperament, dry wit, staying above the fray and respect for the Parliament as an institution, has earned him respect, far and wide.
Many Speakers can get caught in the crossfire of parliamentary debate. Instead, his actions have elevated debate and demonstrated the great strength of parliamentary democracy.
On the last two occasions Tony Smith was elected Speaker, he enjoyed the universal support of the Parliament, a remarkable achievement.
I pay tribute to him, as well as the President of the Senate, Scott Ryan, for the work they have done during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, they have worked through complex legal and jurisdictional issues and ensured that the Parliament has been able to function freely.
After two decades in Parliament, and many more years working as a senior ministerial staffer, I appreciate Tony’s desire to embark on another chapter in his life.
I now look forward to continuing to work with Tony over the balance of this parliamentary term in his role as Speaker and securing the election of the new Liberal candidate for Casey at the next election.
I thank his wife Pam and his two sons for sharing Tony with the Liberal Party and the Parliament for so long and wish them all the best for their future together.