Labor stalwart Terry Mackenroth has been remembered as a giant of Queensland politics who enjoyed the respect of politicians of all stripes.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk moved an official condolence motion in state parliament on Friday after the 68-year-old’s death from cancer last month.
She told the house Mr Mackenroth first visited parliament as a schoolboy, and went home and said he would be a politician one day.
“I hope there’s a school group here today as well. They’ll have heard the story of the long-haired kid who walked in a schoolboy, and left a statesman,” the premier said.
She paid tribute to Ms Mackenroth’s family, several members of whom including wife Mary and daughters Rachel and Jessica were in the public gallery.
His love of his family was a common theme touched on by speakers on Friday, and multiple MPs thanked them for sharing their remarkable husband, brother, father and son with the people of Queensland.
Mr Mackenroth served in state parliament for 28 years, including as a Labor minister in eight portfolios.
He later held various roles including with the recovery taskforce set up after Cyclone Larry in 2006, and as chair of the Queensland floods appeal in 2013.
He died last month, two weeks after doctors treating him for pneumonia found a tumour in his lung.
The man known affectionately as “The Fox” had a strong mentoring role in the state Labor party following their 2012 election wipeout at the hands of Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party, and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad acknowledged the importance of his influence during that time.
“Terry was never disheartened, never dissuaded by the challenge ahead of the Labor party to restock and revive its political fortunes,” Ms Trad said.
Liberal National Party MP Steven Minnikin, who holds Mr Mackenroth’s old seat of Chatsworth, told the house the Labor veteran had fought him hard during the 2015 campaign.
But he’d always remained respectful and even friendly outside of politics, giving him the “cufflink advice”.
“Cufflinks on, cufflinks off. In other words, put them on when you’re in the boardroom with the top end of town, but know when to take them off when you’re talking to everyday people,” Mr Minnikin explained.
“So as a mark of respect to you Terry, I will leave one cufflink on today, and take one off.”
Australian Associated Press