Martin Ferguson is unique.
An honours graduate in economics from Sydney University, one of the lions of the Australian labour movement, the most respected resources and energy minister in Australian history, someone who always knows his stuff and one of the world's genuinely good human beings.
In public life, you do well to possess a couple of these virtues. In Martin's case he covers the field.
And what always shines through are his fundamental Labor values of a fair go for all, by growing an economy through creative enterprise, enabling working people to get a decent job, and providing a helping hand to those who needed it.
Martin did not just talk about these things.
Martin went about doing these things.
And his enduring legacy will be his role in the restructuring of the Australia economy - the cornerstone of our 21 successive years of economic and employment growth.
At a personal level I believe Martin Ferguson was one of the most outstanding ministers of the Rudd government.
I regard it as a privilege to have Martin not only a colleague from the past, but also a friend for the future.