CONDOLENCES - Cooney, Bernard Cornelius 'Barney'

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:20): As someone who worked with Barney Cooney for 12 years, I just want to ever so briefly associate myself with the condolence motion and the words of Senator Cormann and, indeed, Senator Carr. I think Senator Cormann used the words 'decency' and 'collegiality', and that was certainly my recollection of Barney. He had a wry smile and a wicked, if very quiet, sense of humour. I'm surprised to hear today, for the first time, that he was a boxer, because his gentleness, his graciousness and his courtesy in the chamber would make one struggle to believe that he was a prize-fighter.

I particularly liked Barney. I don't always, dare I say, like a lot of people from the Labor Party, but Barney was one that I did. He was a wonderful and very, very fine man. I was interested to see in a paper that Senator Carr must have written some time ago about Barney Cooney that Barney used to oppose things in caucus regularly, and I can accept that that would be correct. He was a fairly independent thinker in the time that I knew him. He certainly had a very, very bright mind, and I can imagine that he would've been a very competent and successful barrister. I just wanted to, as I say, associate myself with the condolence motion and to include my condolences to his family and friends.

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