The Australian Senate will be a diminished place without the presence of Stephen Conroy.
He is known on our side of politics as a devoted servant of the ALP and the broader Labor movement.
And he is known to everyone in the Senate as a witty, passionate, and when the occasion required, fierce debater.
In the history of this nation he will always be remembered as the architect of the National Broadband Network, when he was Communications Minister in the former Labor Government.
I am honoured that he chose to mention me in his resignation speech. He said that our working relationship was based on trust and mutual respect, and so it was.
Stephen was a factional rival, the fiercest of opponents. He became the most loyal of allies.
Without him, it is possible that the ALP in Victoria could have been mired in defeat.
But with him it became the most successful and the most stable branch in the country – an example for other states.
For those of us who have worked alongside him in Parliament, this is a parting.
But for Stephen it is a new beginning. I wish him all the best in the next phase of his life.