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9 May 2017

Millhouse, Hon. R.R. – Condolence

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 14:47 :21 ): I rise to support the motion. I wish to record my sadness at the passing of the Hon. Robin Millhouse RFD QC. Our paths crossed on many occasions, even late last year at the St Mark’s College parent dinner, where he was supporting his granddaughter. He was his usual sprightly and fit self and still with a keen interest in the politics of the day.

I think it was our shared interest in the law and Army life that caused us to regularly meet on our respective travels on the road of life, or perhaps it was because we were shaped by so many of these same institutions. He rendered distinguished service in the Citizen Military Forces. I understand he even had a visit to Vietnam. He had a very long association with the Adelaide Universities Regiment. The Army was one of the great loves of his life outside of politics and, of course, his family.

He was the most courteous of judges, certainly when I used to appear before him. He always had a very strong belief in the principles of the Enlightenment. In fact, it is instructive, if you revisit his dissertation on liberalism, there are some dramatic quotes that stand out. He wrote:

To Liberals, the importance of mankind lies in the importance of every single human being, and not in the State or in a power structure.

He goes on to say:

Liberalism believes that sovereignty lies in the people. The sovereignty is expressed through a Parliamentary system in which elected representatives of the people are free to act upon their own convictions, which have previously been expressed and accepted by the majority of electors.

In the political sphere, Liberalism upholds:

  • an independent judiciary
  • the control of the executive by Parliament
  • the utmost possible decentralisation of Government
  • an election system which maintains majority rule and regularly-held elections.

He wrote that many years ago, and yet we are still debating many of the principles today. He was a man of great faith of the Anglican conviction. His labours having been done and his journey at an end, he now has a new guide to lead him. I thank him for his service and my thoughts are with his family.

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