I, too, offer my condolences to the friends and family of Michael Egan. Michael was a titan of the Labor movement and New South Wales politics. He dedicated his life to the service of the people of New South Wales, firstly as a member of Parliament and New South Wales Treasurer, and later as Chancellor of Macquarie University. Michael came to the Parliament as a member of the Wran Labor Government. In 1984 Michael lost the seat of Cronulla—which we have heard about already—but, as we know, he returned in 1986 as a member of the Legislative Council. We now know that it was at the same time as the member for Lismore—a key fact that I did not know. He served for more than 18 years.

Michael Egan was a critical figure of the Labor opposition to the Greiner and Fahey governments. When Labor returned to power, Michael, in partnership with Premier Carr, was a towering figure in New South Wales politics. As Treasurer for nine years, he paid down the State's debt and kept us in the black for the rest of his tenure—a tremendous achievement—while also delivering huge enhancements for health, education, policing and the rest of government. He was, in the truest sense, a Labor Treasurer to his bootstraps. Michael's legacy as Treasurer is unrivalled. He protected New South Wales's triple-A credit rating, delivered nine balanced budgets and funded the 2000 Sydney Olympics without putting the State into debt. His family may not know this, but the member for Gosford won a silver medal at those Paralympics. She was cheering in the Chamber earlier when we began this condolence motion. That was another fun fact for all of us to learn.

Michael was a relentless advocate for reform within government and was fearless in taking on the big issues and forcefully arguing his case to interest groups and, famously, to his colleagues. He commanded fearsome loyalty from his personal staff and profound admiration from the public servants who worked with him—that was once they had adopted his uncompromising style, of course. The bruises healed soon enough. His contribution to the success of the Carr Government was monumental. Former Premier Carr recently paid tribute to Michael's combative spirit and list of achievements as Treasurer, describing him as a valued colleague and friend. The two of them together were a political force of nature. They created the template for truly successful Labor governments—economically sophisticated and fiscally responsible, while never losing sight of what the people of New South Wales elect Labor governments to do: improve the lives of the people in this great State.

After leaving politics, Michael was chosen to serve as Chancellor of Macquarie University. Under his tenure, a large-scale building project commenced, including the new medical facility. He also attended 268 graduation ceremonies and conferred more than 40,000 degrees. The graduation hall, as his family very well knows, has been renamed the Michael Egan Hall. Like New South Wales itself, he left that university unrecognisably improved compared to the institution he walked into. Michael was never shy of robust debate, continuing to appear at parliamentary inquiries and, famously, never leaving anyone in doubt of what his position was.

Michael Egan set a high standard of ministerial accountability for himself and the Government—something every Minister should seek to replicate. Those who get the privilege to serve as a Minister know the weight of the office and also the opportunity it presents to improve the lives of the people of New South Wales and to shape our State. I thank Michael's partner, family and friends for sharing Michael with us. Even beyond his time in Parliament, Michael continued as a loyal servant to Labor by sharing his experience and advice with us. I can certainly attest to my time with him as a shadow Minister. He was so generous and gracious in sharing what it is like to be a Minister and preparing the shadow Ministers for what it would be like in a Labor government. I am truly grateful to have been able to lean from that wonderful advice. The labour movement is indebted to Michael Egan for his years of service to the party and to the people of New South Wales. Vale, Michael Egan. You will be greatly missed.