Speeches

Senator Alex Gallacher

September 01, 2021

I'm very grateful to have a few moments in the chamber to pay tribute to Senator Alex Gallacher on behalf of the electorate of Macquarie. There's a really strong link between Alex and my electorate, especially the Blue Mountains, which may seem odd for a South Australian. But it's due to his commitment to road safety. Alex was such a proud co-convenor of the Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety, and when Peter Frazer, a Blue Mountains resident and president and founder of the SARAH Group, reached out for support for his yellow ribbon safer driving initiative, it was an absolutely perfect match. Peter established SARAH Group in honour of his daughter Sarah. Her car had broken down, and when a tow-truck driver was hooking up the car, a truck side-swiped the car, collided with them both and they both died. In 2017 Alex described the work of the SARAH Group, which the family set up after Sarah's death. He said:

Peter … has made a personal tragedy into a campaign for road safety. He has done a fantastic job in bringing greater awareness of road safety.

And then Alex quoted the SARAH pledge, and I think you'd agree that the more people who hear this and take the pledge the better. The pledge is:

Drive as if my loved ones are on the road ahead;

Remove distractions, and never use my smartphone while at the wheel; and

I will be aware of, and take care of, vulnerable road users around me.

I know how important it was for Peter and his family to see that work recognised by the Senate, and I want it on the record how deeply Alex's efforts in this area have been appreciated.

Of course, everything he did to promote road safety and to promote safer trucking had implications for the major roads that go through my electorate—the Great Western Highway and the Bells Line of Road. I was in Canberra as a candidate on the day the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was established. I think that was 2012. I was very pleased to celebrate on the front lawn with the TWU and with those senators who made it possible. We know it wouldn't have occurred without Alex's work.

So my deep condolences go to his family, his Senate and South Australian colleagues, his TWU mates and the people that he got to hang out with here in his years in Canberra. I want everybody to know that his work reached Macquarie and it made a difference.