THE PRESIDENT (Hon Kate Doust) [1.02 pm]: Today, we will be dealing with a condolence motion for Hon George Maxwell “Max” Evans, MBE. Before I give the call to the Leader of the House, I would like to acknowledge the family of Hon Max Evans who are sitting in the President’s gallery today, in particular his wife, Barbara.

Condolence Motion

HON SUE ELLERY (South Metropolitan — Leader of the House) [1.02 pm] — without notice: I move —

That this house expresses its deep regret at the death of Hon George Maxwell “Max” Evans, MBE, a former member of the Legislative Council for the Metropolitan Province and the North Metropolitan Region, and places on record its appreciation for his long public service and tenders its profound sympathy to his wife and members of his family in their bereavement.

Comments and speeches from various members

HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [1.26 pm]: I rise on behalf of the Greens and as the member for the North Metropolitan Region to support this motion and to acknowledge the passing of Hon Max Evans. On behalf of the Greens, we wish to express our condolences to the family and friends of Max Evans. I was not lucky enough to know Mr Evans personally but I, along with all Western Australians, have received the benefit of his hard work as a minister in this place.

Max Evans accomplished a number of things across his 12 years in this house, most notably in his role as Minister for Finance and Minister Assisting the Treasurer. His background, as has already been extensively spoken about, was as an accountant. He did not come into this Parliament until long after he was well established and already very well respected within his field. In fact, he took his seat for the first time at the age of 56. However, he brought those years of experience and that very deep knowledge of understanding financial management and operations to the Parliament, and I think we are all the beneficiaries of his work and expertise.

His projects have allowed us to have a very clear picture of government landholdings, for instance. I note that in his valedictory speech, the government discovered that it owned three times as much land as was originally estimated. As has been said, he also introduced net appropriations and accrual accounting, which enables agencies to carry forward funds from one year to the next. He pushed Treasury to have the budget prepared in advance of the start of the financial year and the budget passed by 30 June. This, of course, ensures that agencies have the full financial year to undertake their new capital expenditure plans. These reforms have also made a huge difference to the certainty of budgeting for agencies and the accountability of their spending against their budgets. These are important reforms for both the government as well as the Parliament.

As has already been said, I also note that Mr Evans had a long and distinguished involvement in the scouting movement and was an elite athlete for a number of years in a number of sports prior to entering Parliament. He led a life of excellence in many fields and obviously had a deep commitment to community service. I think the world, particularly Western Australia, is a better place, thanks to his commitment and service. I once again offer our condolences to his loved ones, in particular his wife, Barbara, his children and his grandchildren.

Comments and speeches from various members

Question passed; members and officers standing as a mark of respect.

The PRESIDENT: I advise that in accordance with our custom and practice, a copy of the Hansard transcript of this condolence motion will be forwarded to Hon Max Evans’ family.


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