Politicians pay tribute to ‘larger than life’ colleague
MEMBER for Clarence Chris Gulaptis was deeply saddened to hear of the passing overnight of the former Nationals Member for Clarence and Page, The Hon. Ian Causley.
"Ian was a larger than life man who has left his mark on many people not just in the Clarence Valley but right across Australia," Mr Gulaptis said.
"I first met Ian about 35 years ago and was immediately intimidated, not just by his stature but by his strength of character. He was intelligent, confident and very forthright. He was old school Country Party and proud of it. He loved agriculture, farmers and country people and he fought for them tooth and nail," he said.
"He was never afraid of speaking his mind, no matter the audience. You always knew where you stood with Ian. When I think of Ian I think of Frank Sinatra's 'My Way'. That's how he lived his life."
Ian Causley carved out a distinguished political career spanning some 23 years in both the NSW and Federal Parliaments from 1984 to 2007. He was rewarded for his hard work and knowledge of the land with several Ministerial appointments.
He served as a Minister in both the Greiner and Fahey State Governments, most notably as Minister in the portfolio areas of water, lands and forestry, the latter which he often said led him into politics.
Mr Causley switched from state to federal politics in 1996 winning the Seat of Page going on to serve as Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives under the Howard government from 2002 until he retired in 2007.
"Ian was a man from the land, a respected canecutter and farmer. He was a stalwart of the cane industry serving in leadership roles on the Clarence Sugar Executive before entering into the foray of public life."
Upon Mr Causley's retirement he took up the leadership mantle again and served as Chairman of the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative for half a decade. His knowledge and contribution to the cane industry was just as distinguished as his political career.
"Ian was a passionate advocate for the communities he represented and was respected on both sides of the political landscape. He had strong ideals and fought for what he believed in. He said in his last speech in the NSW Legislative Assembly that whether in government or opposition members should do their utmost by pursuing and endorsing policies that best serve their country and Ian certainly led by that example."
Mr Gulaptis said Ian lost his right-hand lady, his beloved wife June in 2013, who was a tremendous support to him throughout his political career.
"I know the community with join with me in offering heartfelt condolence to Ian's family, in particular his four children Craig, Marcelle, Derek and Shane, his seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren."
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan has also expressed his condolences to Mr Causley's family this morning.
"My sincere thoughts are with his children Craig, Marcelle, Derek, Shane and their families," he said.
"Ian would always say to me in my role as an MP: "Don't worry if people don't always agree with you, as long as they respect you.
"He was a passionate advocate for our region. May in Rest in Peace."
* Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions, a public celebration of Ian's life will not be held at this point in time.