Thursday 13 November, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (17:37): I also rise today to pay tribute to Iain Evans in this series of valedictory speeches. One thing is for sure: the next member for Davenport certainly has big shoes to fill. We heard today and last week about the fierce advocate that was Iain Evans, about the strong campaign brain Iain Evans has, and about the plethora of portfolios, both in government and in opposition, that Iain has held. It is great to see him here in the chamber today and great to see that so many of his friends and family were present the last time we spoke about this issue.

To complement the speakers today, I wanted to draw on two real-life examples of my interaction with Iain Evans. One was the very first time that I met him, and one was towards the end of the last campaign. He probably does not remember this, but I do. Iain Evans was the first MP I met in real life as a year 7 student at Rostrevor College. I think the local member was Joan Hall, and it was probably the Coles electorate back then, before it became Morialta. I remember Iain like it was yesterday. Iain was a much younger man; obviously I was a child. I have a few memories from that day that really stand out, and one was how Iain Evans was telling us all why he ran for politics. He told us that he did it because he felt extremely strongly about his community and he wanted to make a difference.

I remember him saying, like it was yesterday, that he came from the hardware industry and he was not a political hack. He came from the business sector. He decided to run for politics not because the money was good—the money was great in what he was doing—but he ran for politics to make a difference. That was the standout issue, from my point of view. It is also a take-out, I suppose, for members here: you have to be careful what you tell kids and students because one day they might run for either your job or one of your colleague's jobs. I cannot help but think a little bit of Iain Evans rubbed off on me that day. I also remember that he was extremely passionate about campaigning and the strategy of campaigning, and that, to this day, has certainly stuck in my head.

The second memory I wanted to speak about, in particular, occurred during the campaign in Hartley. I remember it was about 30° and Iain came to the electorate. By the way, he always made himself available to talk to a community club or sporting club in the electorate. That was Iain. It was about 30° and I remember we were on Glynde Corner. I think we had just had a sandwich and were talking to some business owners. We were walking and saw this guy's car had run out of gas or the battery was flat. I said, 'Iain, what do we do?' and Iain said, 'Let's go over and give him a push.' It could have won me the election, there were that many people on the Glynde Corner that day. The next thing I remember is that we rolled our sleeves up and pushed this car, right in the middle of Glynde Corner, onto safer ground.

That, to me, is symbolism for Iain Evans. Iain Evans was not afraid to do the heavy lifting for this party, for the state and for the people he represented. He did it as a government member and he did it as an opposition member. As a new member, for the first couple of party room meetings I did more listening than talking, and Iain Evans is one of these guys who, when he spoke, you thought, 'You know what? That's a really good idea.'

He has always been a fantastic strategic brain. He never rested. That day when he visited me in Hartley, but also along the way, he had great campaigning sense, and we have heard examples of that today. I know, in my time with him, he was never slow to come up with some kind of strategic way of thinking or a way to amplify an issue to your advantage in the electorate. In a marginal seat, it was certainly great to have him around. Especially as a younger colleague, I always appreciated that. In my office I have an Iain Evans shopping bag and an Iain Evans stubby holder. Iain Evans understood branding, as we have heard, and he understood campaigning, and he certainly set a great example for younger members in campaigning.

I would like to thank Iain and also Fiona for her support of Iain throughout the years. I know there are some family members in Hartley so I will be doing my best to make sure that we continue to represent them well. I wish him all the very best in his future endeavours and all the best of health, wealth and happiness in the next part of his journey.