Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has expressed his condolences to the Pyne family after the passing of larger than life community stalwart Tom Pyne.
After being elected to the Federal Parliament in 1996, Mr Entsch worked closely with Mr Pyne until his retirement as mayor in 2000.The pair were in regular contact during this time and successfully worked together on a range of projects and issues for the benefit of Cairns.
“Even though Tommy and I were on different sides of the political fence we always worked very closely together for the benefit of the Cairns community,” Mr Entsch said.
“Whether it was the Federal Black Spot or Roads to Recovery funding program, Tom was always the first to be out there standing side by side with me promoting these initiatives.”
“His door was always open and I could talk with him on any level of confidence without any trouble at all.
“It was so important as the Federal member to enjoy that level of communication and access and we got lots of things done.”
Mr Entsch fondly recalled Mr Pyne’s ability to put aside political differences for the good of the community.
“I remember the time I was under relentless and unwarranted political attack by Simon Crean in 1999 and it was Tom, as a life member of the Labor Party, who wrote to Crean to say how ashamed he was at the personal attacks on me, and it was due to Tom’s support that those attacks stopped immediately.
“I think the world of Tom and he was somebody very special to Cairns, his contribution to the community will always be a positive legacy.”
“The working relationship and access we had is something that is totally missing from the current council regime and that’s not a good thing for the Far North.”