The Courier-Mail

Parliament marks the passing of fearless MP

- LANAI SCARR

PARLIAMENT has paid tribute to West Australian MP Don Randall, who died during the winter break.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott led the tributes to the outspoken MP, who died of a suspected heart attack.

“He was fearless, absolutely fearless,” Mr Abbott said. “Utterly impervious to political correctnes­s, but he did have a natural affinity with people.

“In many respects, he was the classic Australian male, yet he had a deep inquisitiv­eness of other cultures.”

Mr Abbott said there was a “shock and a poignancy” when Parliament stopped to remember one of its own.

“Six weeks ago, he was part of our deliberati­ons. Six weeks ago, we could talk with him, joke with him, dine with him and, on occasion, be chided by him, and now he’s gone,” Mr Abbott said.

Federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch tied a single white rose to Mr Randall’s seat in the Lower House.

Opposition Leader Shorten also paid tribute.

“I know from my personal conversati­ons with Don Randall that he had many sides, some were well known, such as his fierce love of family, some less well known, such as his abiding interest in special education,” Mr Shorten said.

“We honour his memory today. We pay tribute to his service. We offer our heartfelt condolence­s to the people he loved and the people who loved him.”

Mr Randall, the member for Canning in WA, was found dead in his car last month at the age of 62. A longstandi­ng member of parliament, he was known for speaking his mind.

In February, Mr Randall announced he would co-sponsor a motion to call on a leadership ballot in the Liberal partyroom against Mr Abbott.

“Farewell, Don. You will live on in the hearts of your friends and your family, to whom we extend our deepest condolence­s,” Mr Abbott said.

Normal parliament­ary proceeding­s were suspended for the day, with condolence­s to be held until 7pm.

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