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Historic first address by the Speaker of State Parliament to the Supreme Court of Queensland, December 2006

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, Mike Reynolds, has delivered a historic address to the Supreme Court of Queensland at the invitation of the Chief Justice, the Hon Paul de Jersey AC, as part of a formal ceremonial proceeding of the court.

The address by the Speaker to the Supreme Court is the first occasion in Queensland political and judicial history that a Speaker has attended the Supreme Court in an official capacity.

"Addressing the court in my capacity as Queensland's 33rd Speaker is a great honour and I am aware of the historical significance of this moment," Mr Reynolds said.

The Speaker used the occasion to return to the Supreme Court a portrait of a former premier, the Honourable TJ Byrnes, which had resided at Parliament House since the 1968 arson attack on the Supreme Court.

"The portrait of former premier TJ Byrnes that hung on the walls of Parliament House for almost forty years is surrounded by mystery and intrigue," Mr Reynolds said.

"All that is known is that the portrait arrived at Parliament House in 1968 after the Supreme Court burnt down.

"It appears that the relocation of the portrait to Parliament House slipped from people's memories over the years and was only realized following an eight year search by the Chief Justice to track down the painting.

"I have had a replica of the portrait made and am enormously pleased to return the original portrait of TJ Byrnes to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Mr Reynolds said that the Honourable TJ Byrnes served as Queensland's solicitor-general, attorney-general and premier during the 1890s and returning the portrait to its original owner, the Supreme Court, respected the service given by TJ Byrnes to Queensland's legal system.

 Historic first address by the Speaker of State Parliament to the Supreme Court of Queensland, December 2006

Historic first address by the Speaker of State Parliament to the Supreme Court of Queensland, December 2006