Bob Such Condolence
Speech to Parliament
29 October 2014
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:22 ): I rise today to speak on the motion and the work of the late Dr Bob Such.
While I did not have the pleasure, like many people in this house, to get to know Dr Such personally, I would like to make a few brief comments. I do feel some kinship with Dr Such given that the electorates of Fisher and Mitchell are neighbours. His name was raised with me often as I stood outside shops while I was campaigning ahead of the last election. Many of his constituents would use the supermarkets in my electorate and they would often tell me that they liked what I was doing and wished me well but they were from Fisher and they were 'Bob people'.
I learnt very quickly that the secret of Bob's success was his care for the local community. People spoke very highly of Bob and the hard work he did in the electorate of Fisher. I truly hope that when I leave this place the people of Mitchell will say the same kind words about me. Sharing communities, Bob and I had a lot of issues in common. I know he was passionate about roads and safety. Scouring Hansard, I know if you mention speed cameras you have to mention Bob's name. Bob was a great supporter of the local CFS volunteers, he loathed graffiti and he backed small business. In fact, he saw small business as the engine room of our economy and he fought to reduce taxes and charges that 'acted as a dead weight around the neck of those who put their financial life on the line when servicing our community'. He was also passionate about animal welfare and the recent puppy farms legislation would have put a smile on his face.
As all members know, a good member is only as successful as his or her staff. When I was first elected I was lucky enough to have the services of one of Bob's electorate staff, Linda Germain, for three months. Linda was of great value to my office and to me personally. She had wonderful energy and excellent insight into the local communities. At any meeting we had, Linda would always give reference to what Bob would do and how Bob would deal with issues. It was invaluable to me as a new member and I thank her and I thank Bob.
I was interested to learn of Bob's frustrations with freedom of information requests, of FOIs as they are known. Bob once suggested it was, 'Freedom from information not freedom of information.' I have been a member of this house for a relatively short period of time, but it has not taken me long to also experience Bob's FOI frustration.
Finally, I must also say that I enjoyed reading Bob's newsletters, which, as we know, were titled SUCH AND SUCH. The colourful sheets were dropped into letterboxes seasonally, and were effective and informative, and, like Bob, to the point. While I have tried to move into the cyber age a bit more myself, I noticed that Bob also had a Facebook page. I would guess that Bob never knew, nor probably cared, how many Facebook friends he had, but I know that Bob had more friends in his electorate than he could count. To Bob's wife, Lyn, his family and his friends, my sincere condolences.