Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:42): I rise in the House to pay tribute to and recognise a fine public service career not here in Canberra but in local government in the electorate of Casey, which I have the honour of representing here, in our federal parliament. I speak of Alison Cran who recently retired from the Yarra Ranges Council after nearly 13 years of dedicated service as the Director of Social and Economic Development. Before this she had a career in other areas of local government. I am pretty sure that Alison did not and does not agree with me on every issue but I am certain of the most important thing: Alison always acted in the finest traditions of the public service—professional, hardworking, dedicated, passionate, prepared to deal with the difficult issues and prepared to look to the long term.
At a recent farewell function for her, the Chief Executive Officer of Yarra Ranges Council, Glenn Patterson, spoke of Alison's compassion, commitment, conviction and her leadership. He spoke of her no-nonsense style and her commitment to excellence, blended with humour and a generosity of spirit for those in need. Her leadership role in the response to Black Saturday exemplified Alison's capacity and commitment. The Yarra Ranges Council staff and the wider Yarra Ranges community will of course miss her. Yes, they will be poorer for her leaving, but of course her achievements and her legacy will remain and stand out as a standard for those staff who worked with her to try to live up to. She was a mentor for so many staff at the Yarra Ranges Council. I wish her and her family very well in her retirement and wish all the best for her partner, Greg, and for her boys. I think it is appropriate in this parliament to pay tribute to a public servant who has done so much for the community that I represent.