Hon. Arthur Andrew McCutcheon | Sue Pennicuik

Hon. Arthur Andrew McCutcheon

The Greens would also like to support the motion of condolence moved by the Leader of the Government for the death of the Honourable Arthur Andrew McCutcheon on 16 December 2017. By any measure Andrew McCutcheon led a very full and varied life, training in architecture and theology, travelling the world before he became a Methodist minister, looking for better ways to address poverty and powerlessness.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 9:45am
Speaker:
Sue Pennicuik

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — The Greens would also like to support the motion of condolence moved by the Leader of the Government for the death of the Honourable Arthur Andrew McCutcheon on 16 December 2017. By any measure Andrew McCutcheon led a very full and varied life, training in architecture and theology, travelling the world before he became a Methodist minister, looking for better ways to address poverty and powerlessness.

On reading his obituary, which was written by Vivienne and Louise McCutcheon, I was struck by how, as Ms Fitzherbert mentioned, as a parish minister he lived with his family alongside parishioners in the local public housing commission flats in Collingwood. He was elected to the Collingwood council in 1965 in order to work to improve the lives of his constituents, and in particular newly arrived migrants.

He campaigned against the reduction of public housing and the prioritisation of the use of cars at the expense of improving public transport, issues which resonate very strongly today. This included campaigning against the construction of the F19 freeway in the 1970s, and I remember that campaign very well.

Andrew served on the national Urban Development and Planning Authority and the Town and Country Planning Authority, and, as Mr Jennings said, he was the chair of the national housing advisory body Shelter. He used these roles to bring about planning and tenancy reforms and to ensure there were adequate stocks of accessible and affordable public housing — again, an issue of great resonance today.

Andrew McCutcheon was the member for St Kilda from 1982 until the district was abolished in 1992 and he retired. He held eight portfolios in that time in the Cain and Kirner governments, including, as has been mentioned, as Attorney-General. He established community-based legal services — an important legacy — and the use of victim impact statements in the courts. He promoted women in the legal profession and appointed the first woman as secretary of the department. As Minister for Water Resources he was behind the 'Don't be a wally with water' campaign, which is another campaign I and others I am sure remember vividly and which also could be emulated in these days of climate change.

After he retired from politics Andrew led a very busy life making wine, travelling, drawing and painting. He was very interested in Aboriginal land rights and the issues of treaty and reconciliation, and he was a member of the Port Phillip Citizens for Reconciliation, which is where I first encountered him in the late 1990s after he had left Parliament.

Andrew McCutcheon cared about people and devoted much of his life to improving the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people and those who were struggling. He was well-respected and well loved. On behalf of the Greens I extend our condolences to his family, his partner, his four children, his six grandchildren and his wide circle of friends and former colleagues.