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John Maxwell Beattie

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Tags: Condolence

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Greens to make a brief contribution on the passing of John Maxwell Beattie. It is very clear that in his 88 years, John Beattie lived a very full life and had a commitment to community life as well as political life. When you examine the number of organisations he gave his volunteer time to, it is very clear he had a diverse range of interests, from being a Fellow of the Life Underwriters Association - I hear he is the $10 million man, that is quite something - president of the Friends Old Scholars Association, the Tasmanian chair of the Australian Kidney Foundation, Bellerive Rotary Club president for 31 years, Paul Harris Fellow of 1996, plus membership of the New Town Bay Golf Club, Athenaeum Club, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania.

That is all the life he had beyond his political life where, as the Premier said, he was a very popular member for Franklin for 17 years. He held the position of Chair of Committees for a total of seven years. There is no question that Mr Beattie was what can be coined a Liberal Party stalwart.

I realised when I was looking into John Beattie's background before this speech that he and I have something in common: we were both fans of the late Vanessa Goodwin. Mr Beattie was at Vanessa Goodwin's inaugural speech on 3 September 2009. He was there to be part of welcoming Dr Goodwin to parliament.

I note in passing that Mr Beattie was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1972 following the fall of the Bethune minority government under something of a cloud that was later subject to a Tasmania Police investigation, which in some people's minds is not entirely resolved. It was the sudden resignation of then deputy premier Kevin Lyons that sent the Bethune Liberal government to an early election. There were allegations made that Mr Lyons was approached or bribed by Labor members, the Federal Group and/or the Tasmanian Bookmakers' Association. I simply mention that because it is an interesting political climate in which to start a political career.

On behalf of the Greens, I acknowledge that to have someone you love so dearly pass away in the middle of a pandemic emergency must be doubly hard for John Beattie's family. On behalf of the Greens, I pay our deepest and sincere condolences to Mr John Beattie's family, his children, Jillian, Susan, David and Catherine and their families, and his stepchildren, Matthew, James and Sharna and their families, and to Mr Beattie's beloved wife, Melinda. With those few words, I wish Mr Beattie's family well and just pass on our love.