Posted June 27, 2018
Cathy has acknowledged in Parliament the enormous contribution of Lou Lieberman, a former member for Indi, chairman of Albury Wodonga Health and great champion for the region.
Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (10:11): Colleagues, today I acknowledge, honour and thank the much loved former MP Lou Lieberman AM for his service to our nation, our state, our electorate of Indi and the community of Albury-Wodonga. Mr Lieberman served in the federal parliament as the member for Indi between March 1993 and October 2001. He was the member for Benambra in the Victorian parliament between March 1976 and August 1992. Mr Lieberman was the second member for Indi to have been the state member for Benambra, after Sir Isaac Isaacs. Whilst in the Victorian parliament he served as Assistant Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Mines, Minister for Minerals and Energy and Minister for Local Government. During three terms in the federal parliament, Mr Lieberman chaired the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the Standing Committee on Publications. He was the parliamentary adviser to the United Nations General Assembly on 11 September 2001.
In his first speech to the federal parliament on 6 May 1993, Mr Lieberman said that regional development in Australia was the nation's 'most unrecognised issue'. I quote from his speech:
… unfortunately there has not been a national policy on it … Given the right regional policies, there are many parts of Australia like Indi that could do an enormous thing for Australia and create jobs … Regional Australian policies, in my view, should be absolute priority for all governments.
I pay tribute to Mr Lieberman's recognition of regional development, and I hope it will not be another 25 years before we can see action on regional Australia policy.
Mr Lieberman is now in ill health and he has recently resigned as chair and member of Albury-Wodonga Health. In his time he has worked extensively in my community. He's been a director of the Hume Building Society. He has been on Albury's Mercy Health Service. He has served on the council of La Trobe University and recently chaired the Albury-Wodonga health service. I want to add in a little thankyou to Mr Lieberman, because when I was thinking of standing to be the member for Indi, I asked his advice. He said, 'Cathy, I wish you well but I have to say I will never support you, I'm a true-blue Liberal and I will always be that way.' He is a man of great loyalty—loyalty to his nation, to his community, to Indi. I wish Lou Lieberman a speedy recovery, a continued happy retirement with Marge and his extended family. On behalf of my electorate, I thank him for his community service.