Peter Veness

Last night, 27 year-old AAP journalist Peter Veness lost his battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed in 2009, and given just a few months to live. His survival for nearly three years is testament to his extraordinary inner strength.

As a new backbencher, I came to know Peter through his razor-sharp questions at the doors of Parliament House. Peter’s questions were always the most nerve-wracking part of a doorstop interview, because you knew that he couldn't be distracted from his focus on the important issue of the moment. He was no fan of the sideshow aspects of modern politics, and his eyes were invariably on the long game.

I sometimes wondered whether Peter acted like this because he knew his own clock was running out – and whether the rest of us would do well to act in the same way.

Australia has lost a fine scribe. Peter will be sorely missed by his many friends, and particularly by his widow Rebecca, his parents Cheryl and David, and his siblings Tim and Lara.

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