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This Photo Shows There's Still Some Heart Left In Politics

MPs today farewelled one of their own.

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This is Coalition MP Warren Entsch tying a rose around the microphone at the seat left vacant by his colleague Don Randall, who died over the winter break.

Mr Entsch left the tribute to his mate as parliament returned this morning. 62-year-old Randall, who had been a member of parliament from 1996-1998, then again from 2001, died suddenly of a heart attack last month.

Mr Abbott described Mr Randall as a man who had "natural affinity with people" and spoke of the suddenness of his colleague's passing.

"There's a shock and a poignancy when we remember someone who was actually sitting amongst us just six weeks ago," Mr Abbott said. "Six weeks ago, he was a part of our deliberations. Six weeks ago we could talk with him, joke with him, dine with him and on occasion be chided by him, and now he's gone."

Mr Shorten paid tribute to Randall's strength of character and conviction, and said his death should teach a lesson to fellow MPs.

"I know from my personal conversations with Don Randall that he had many sides, some were well known, such as his fierce love of family. Some less well known, such as his abiding interest in special education," Shorten said.

"I regret now that I never followed up his invitation for [Labor MP] Gary Gray and I have to have lunch with him and his great mate Steve Irons. Perhaps there's a lesson for all of us not to always waste so much energy upon our disagreements."

A by-election for Mr Randall's seat will be held in the coming months. The late MP's daughter has been touted as a possible Liberal candidate.

Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

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