Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured, if a little apprehensive to receive this award.
Honoured, because I have always believed that the accountability, scrutiny and review mechanisms of parliament are fundamental to our democracy, critical to holding governments to account and essential for good policy outcomes. I have maintained that belief throughout my time in Parliament.
And apprehensive , because I suspect that as much as I might wish to live up to the words of the citation, like everyone, I will from time to time, of course, fall short of the lofty standards invoked.
And while I like to think that I do my best to maintain standards of integrity I am mindful of the remarks of the eminent thinker, French renaissance essayist Michel de Montaigne more than four hundred years ago, “There is no man so good that if he placed all his actions and thought under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.”