CONDOLENCES: Riordan, Hon. Joseph Martin (Joe)
Mr McCormack (Riverina) (18:41): We mourn the death, yet celebrate the life of Joseph Martin 'Joe' Riordan, AO. Sydney-born Riordan was educated at Patrician Brothers School and Marist Brothers College. He had a Labor pedigree. He was the nephew of Darby Riordan, the Labor member of the House of Representatives for Kennedy from 1929 to 1936. Joe married Patricia Watkins in 1955, and they had six children.
From 1958 to 1972 he was the federal secretary of the Federated Clerks Union, a bastion of anticommunist social democrats. Riordan was elected as the Australian Labor Party member for the federal seat of Phillip at the 1972 election. He was the Minister for Housing and Construction from June 1975 until the dismissal of the Whitlam government.
I spoke this afternoon to the Country Party member for Riverina at that time, John Sullivan, who at age 83 has just been re-elected to the Narrandera Shire Council. John wanted me to record his comments about his former colleague. He said he was old-style Labor. He said he was there on behalf of the people. 'He was a gentleman who always had reasoned debate. He was never vitriolic about anyone or anything.' Mr Sullivan was quite fond of Joe Riordan, as were—as we have heard in many of the eloquent speeches in this place—many of the people who knew him. They may not have served with him, but they certainly knew of him and they knew the great contribution he made to the Commonwealth parliament. They knew of his great contribution to the Australian Labor Party. May Joe Riordan rest in peace.