Condous, Mr S.G.


I rise to support the motion and extend my condolences to Angela and their beautiful daughter on the passing of Steve Condous. My only regret in speaking on this today is that, for the one time, perhaps in all the time I have been in parliament, I wish for the former member for Croydon (Hon. Michael Atkinson) to be here. This is probably the one issue on which we would agree; that is, Steve Condous made a colourful and significant contribution to public life in the City of Adelaide and its surrounds, ultimately as the member for Colton in this parliament.

Together, Steven and Angela made an outstanding contribution to community life. They were truly champions for those who had less than others, and those who were less well off, and I know that continues to this day. If nothing else is remembered in relation to Steve and Angela's public life, it will be the community service that they employed in ensuring that those less fortunate had the comforts that they deserved.

The other reason I am sorry that the Hon. Mr Atkinson is not here is that we like to reminisce about preselections, and occasions of merit as to what might have been. I just want to say today that Steve Condous, remembered for so many things, almost became the federal member for Adelaide. I had the privilege of being the president of the Liberal Party in South Australia when Steve was preselected and then ultimately elected in 1993. Earlier in that year, prior to the famous state election, there was federal election.

The Liberal Party's federal candidate at the time sort of bit the dust, and we had to quickly find someone else. Ultimately, Trish Worth stepped up to the challenge and became the member for four terms. Prior to that, someone suggested, 'Why don't we get Big Steve to stand?' meaning Steve Condous. Someone thought he may have been out doorknocking in Colton, which is fine, except we did not have mobile phones in 1993 and so it was not a simple exercise to find him.

I, along with a few others, were asked to go down and try to find this bloke in all the streets of the state seat of Colton, which had around the same boundaries as it does today—it changed in the meantime and then came back, but it is about the same. The current member for Colton knows every single one of these streets. We all traipsed around and tried to find him. We were assured that he must be out doorknocking, only to find that we had spent the whole of that Saturday afternoon trying to find him and of course he was not there at all.

When we went doorknocking, asking people, 'Have you seen Steve Condous?' we received all sorts of responses, such as, 'Is he that big guy who's standing as a local candidate?' 'Isn't he standing for you?' 'Don't you know where he is?' and that sort of thing. However, we did not find him on that day. Angela, you might look back—I think had we actually found him, he probably would have been automatically preselected at the meeting we had at 6 o'clock that night and been the federal member for Adelaide. But we did not.

Steve actually became the state member and made an enormous contribution to this parliament. He brightened our lives. He was a big man in heart and in contribution. We miss him and we wish to acknowledge the great contribution that he made as lord mayor and then as the member for Colton.

Finally, when I explained to him that, under Liberal Party rules, up until the end of the 1960s in the famous sort of Hawker-Downer-Cudmore era, if you were the lord mayor, you were given some preferential advantage in the pre-selection to go into the Legislative Council. He said, 'Yes, Vickie, I have heard of that, but I think they stopped that precedent with me.' He had the last laugh, Angela. He came in here and served us well. Thank you.