Today marks twenty-five years since northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald commenced his first term in the Commonwealth Parliament.
The ‘Father of the Senate’ since February 2015, Senator Macdonald is now this nation’s 18th longest-serving Senator, and 66thlongest-serving parliamentarian.
Senator Macdonald has devoted his long parliamentary career to serving the interests of the people of Queensland, and to making the development of Northern Australia an issue of significance on the national agenda.
The Senator continues to advocate for northern development to this day, and at the launch of the Northern Development White Paper in Cairns last month the Prime Minister announced that Senator Macdonald will Chair the Government’s Northern Australia Implementation Oversight Committee.
“It has been my honor and my privilege to devote so many years to fostering the great future that lays ahead for Northern Australia,” he said.
But the Senator acknowledged that there is still work to be done.
“I still have a lot of unfinished business,” he said. “There is still much I want to achieve for the people of Queensland and Northern Australia.
“I want to thank the literally thousands of people who have supported me over the years, at pre-selections, elections and in every town and city I have visited.
“It has been a joy to serve the people of Queensland and the people of Australia for so long.
“I also want to acknowledge the support of the Liberal National Party organization, and my colleagues in the party and in the Parliament.
“I have devoted my life to the ideals of Liberal politics and looking back over the past twenty-five years I can honestly say that I believe that these ideals have made Australia a better place for all of us.
“I look forward to continuing this important work in the coming years, and I repeat what I said in my maiden speech so many years ago” said Senator Macdonald.
“So, Mr President, as I do from northern Australia humbly join you in this chamber, it is my hope that my time in the Senate will coincide with a new spirit and enthusiasm in Australia, such as that of our pioneers, and a realisation of our destiny in the Asia-Pacific region. If, in my term, I have made some contribution to that new-born spirit and understanding, I will have succeeded.”
Ian Macdonald maiden speech, Tuesday, 11 September 1990