Oakeshott tells Gillard her father would be 'proud' of her

Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard Rob Williams

"YOUR Dad would be proud".

These were the words Independent MP Rob Oakeshott sent via a text message to Julia Gillard just minutes before her own party removed her from the Prime Ministership.

Mr Oakeshott gave his valedictory speech in parliament on Thursday, speaking out about the abuse and vitriol of the 43rd Parliament.

He thanked Ms Gillard for all her hard work in the role of Prime Minister, including shaking hands, looking him in the eye and keeping her word.

Mr Oakeshott said that 10 minutes before the Labor caucus meeting on Wednesday night, he had "a feeling" and decided to send Ms Gillard a text message.

As Ms Gillard became tearful, he told the chamber how he wrote how proud her father would have been of her achievements.

Mr Oakeshott's comments, which were welcomed by applause in the chamber, come after one of the toughest treatments of a sitting PM in history.

Ms Gillard was the subject of various verbal and online attacks, including one instance where she was blamed for her father's death.

Mr Oakeshott said how as a nation, we "have to be better than this", and how through these sorts of attacks that all MPs witness, he had seen "ugly Australia".

However, he said he remained positive about the future for all Australians, and hoped future parliaments would be more civil.

Topics:  federal election 2013 julia gillard rob oakeshott

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