Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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(03) 9580 4651

Mike Kelly Retirement - Mark Dreyfus QC MP

14 May 2020

I rise to pay tribute to a great Labor member and a great Australian Mike Kelly, the former member for Eden Monaro.


Retirement of Mike Kelly

Private Members BusinessFederation Chamber

14 MAY 2020

I rise to pay tribute to a great Labor member and a great Australian Mike Kelly, the former member for Eden Monaro.

As members here know, just before we returned for this session of Parliament, Mike was forced to retire as a result of serious health problems sustained as a result of his service to this nation.

Im very sad to see Mike Kelly leave. Ill miss his advice, Ill miss the experience and humanity he brought to the parliament and most of all Ill miss his friendship.

Mike served the nation for 20 years in the Australian Army including in Timor-Leste, Somalia, the Balkans and Iraq, before retiring as a Colonel.

That service almost cost him his life, as a result of renal health issues sustained in connection with his service in Somalia, Iraq and Timor Leste which have now caused his retirement.

Having served our nation for 20 year in the Defence Force, Mike then volunteered again to serve his community and his nation here in the national parliament and he did it in the most difficult way possible, by standing for a marginal coalition held seat.

Its a testament to Mikes standing in his community that he did this not once, but twice, and the second time, became the first member in almost 50 years to hold Eden-Monaro in opposition.

Now, hes again putting that community first. Because of his health, Mike feels he cannot give this vast, diverse electorate the dedication it requires, especially at a time when so many are, tragically, still recovering from Summers devastating bushfires.

In Government, Mike held five Parliamentary Secretary portfolios. He also served as Minister for Defence Materiel.

But I will most miss the intelligence, experience and humanity Mike brings to any discussion about defence and intelligence.

Mikes unparalleled experience, seeing first-hand how these policies work in the real world, the impact they can have on real people added immeasurably to policy development both in the Labor Party, and in this Parliament.

Im going to miss Mikes contribution, his good humour and most of all his friendship.

On behalf of the Australian Labor Party I wish Mike, his wife Rachelle and his family the best for the future.