Today I want to congratulate Phil Coorey, a constituent of mine, for winning the Paul Lyneham Award at last night's Midwinter Ball. Phil has covered federal politics from Canberra for more than a decade, initially as chief political correspondent with Adelaide's Advertiser. He spent two years in the US as News Ltd's New York correspondent and covered the 2004 US primaries and presidential election. He was appointed political editor of the Advertiser upon his return to the press gallery, joined the Sydney Morning Herald in 2006 and is that paper's chief political correspondent.
Phil is a formidable and tenacious journalist who loves his craft. One of the reasons he is so good is because he sweats the small stuff—he does not just break news, he is accurate and fair. While we may not always agree with what journalists do, I do not think we can ask for more in terms of accuracy and fairness.
Last night Phil said winning the award would not have been possible without the support of his wife, Fleur, another esteemed journalist. I too want to acknowledge Fleur's great work in her craft, coupled with the fact that she carries, as Phil said, 99.9 percent of the domestic load.
Finally, I want to implore Fairfax Media to consider the needs of Canberrans in its review of the Canberra Times. As the nation's capital, as the home to Parliament House and, I suspect, the nation's most politically interested population, it is appropriate that we have our own press gallery bureau reporting on politics from a Canberra perspective and a strong stable of journalists and staff reporting on Canberra issues.