Mr McCormack (Riverina) (13:58): I inform the House of the death this morning of Graeme Hull, husband of my predecessor, Kay. Graeme was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer just a few short weeks ago, having been unwell for years with other health ailments. He remained stoic and uncomplaining to the end.


A lovable larrikin, Graeme was behind and alongside Kay for all of her 12 years as the member for Riverina. He was, she said in her valedictory speech on 24 June 2010, 'my rock and my greatest supporter'. 'I offer,' Kay said:

… my gratitude and my deepest love and respect to my husband, Graeme, the long-suffering man who has kept everything afloat whist I have been committed to this role. … We have been a team for 35 years. We have had our children, started our business and worked through some tough times. You have spent many years now without companionship, and I look forward to re-establishing a normal life together …

Sadly, that will not happen. Life can be cruel. That is why we all should treasure each and every day, as I know Graeme did.

Graeme lived life to the fullest. He gave so much and expected nothing in return. He has left a community in mourning, especially the local greyhound club and smash repair industry, and all who knew and loved this popular, knockabout character. I know all members will be saddened by this news, particularly the National Party family, and the Prime Minister, as she and Kay entered parliament together in 1998.

Graeme Hull will be missed by many, but by none more than Kay, a wonderful woman, and sons Darren, Danny and Brett and their families. On behalf of the parliament, I offer my sincerest sympathies.

The SPEAKER: I share with the member for Riverina in offering those sympathies, because I also came in with Kay Hull and we spent many a year chatting across the chamber. So I think everybody who knew Kay would be feeling the same. It being 2 pm the debate is interrupted, in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour.

Cristy Houghton