Tribute to Ernie Page

Legislative Council Hansard – 22 May 2018

The Hon. JOHN GRAHAMI also wish to recognise the passing of a former member of the other place, a Labor legend, Ernie Page. Ernie Page was elected to the seat of Wav erley at the 1981 S tate election after the retirement of Wran G overnment M inister Syd Einfeld. He switched to the seat of Coogee when the Waverley electorate was abolished in 1991. He served another three terms as the member for Coogee and he also served as Minister for Local Government in the first Carr G overnment from 1995 to 1999. Ernie Page had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local community. He worked closely with his campaign team , including Sue and Paul Tracey. Together , the local Coogee team was some of the greatest marginal seat campaigners in the country at the time. The physical symbol of this was the Ernie van, a slightly beaten - up delivery van that served as transport, a mobile campaign headquarters and advertising billboard all in one.

Ernie was a diabetic and under stress he could become highly agitated. I thought we were going to kill him when we nominated him as a candidate at theLabor Party 's annual conference at t he Sydney Town Hall . I   think it was for the position of General Secretary of the Labor Party. Despite the stress, and thanks to a steady supply of jelly beans, he flew the flag and survived the experience. The m ember for Kingsford Smith, Matt Thistlethwait e , has provided adescription of Ernie Page on social media during the past 24 hours , and I could not have said it better , "Minister for Local Government in the Carr G overnment and all round good bloke." I concur.