MOMENTARY MLA Val Jeffrey has died at the age of 81. Mr Jeffery was elected to the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly as a Liberal member for Brindabella on July 28, 2016, following a countback resulting from Brendan Smyth’s resignation.
He was the owner of the Tharwa general store, and had run as a Liberal candidate at the 2012 ACT election (and previously at the 2008 election for The Community Alliance Party). He was the oldest person to have sat in the Assembly, and did not re-contest his seat at the 2016 election held in October, with his term lasting just over two weeks and six assembly sittings.
On behalf of the Canberra Liberals ACT Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe says they are deeply saddened by the loss of a former colleague and well loved Canberra identity.
“Val Jeffery was a respected Canberran who devoted a great part of his life to serving the community, particularly through the Rural Fire Service,” Mr Coe says.
“Val was passionate about Tharwa and preserving the historical importance of rural villages in the ACT. Val always stood up for what he believed was right and never shied away from taking on authorities in pursuit of common sense.
“The opportunity to serve alongside him in his political career in the Assembly was a privilege.
“The Canberra Liberals’ thoughts and sympathies are with his wife Dorothy and family at this time.”
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says Mr Jeffery had a lifelong connection to Tharwa and rural ACT and ran the Tharwa general store since 1948.
“Everyone in Tharwa, or who ever lived in Tharwa, knew and respected Val. He was without doubt an institution of the town,” he says.
“Notably, for 38 years Val was also a captain of the local bushfire brigade – a cause he was very strongly committed to and cared deeply about.
“We didn’t always agree with Val, but ACT Labor always greatly respected his passion and enthusiasm for engaging in important issues and with his beloved town of Tharwa.
“On behalf of the ACT Labor government, I offer my condolences to Val’s family, his friends and the town of Tharwa as a whole. Our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.”
Valentine Jeffrey AFSM OAM, born December 6, 1934, Queanbeyan; Died July 17, 2017, Canberra.