George Seitz

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Local Government) — I rise to acknowledge the passing, last Friday, of George Seitz. George migrated to Australia as a 15-year-old in 1956. Before he entered politics he was a sheet metal worker and a teacher at St Albans Technical College for many years. George also served his country as an Army reservist. George was elected to Parliament as the member for Keilor in 1982. His life was politics and the ALP. George was renowned for working morning until night seven days a week. It even involved visiting people in their homes if they could not come to him. No event was too small for him to attend and he always had his camera in hand.

George served as a Labor Party whip during the 1990s, and served eight terms before retiring in 2010. As an immigrant, George was always a vocal advocate for the needs of migrant communities. He knew the difficulties faced by migrants and he knew that, because of language and cultural barriers, they often were not able to speak for themselves, so he did it for them. In his final speech to Parliament, George said:

… I have enjoyed the banter, argument and controversy with the media and my colleagues, because it was always about policies and I never took it personally. To me it was policy …

George was fiercely proud of the working-class western suburbs he represented. He fought hard and advocated for the expansion of the Western Ring Road and for many vital services in health and education, including his long advocacy for the establishment of Victoria University.