10 May 2023

Former MP Billy Gordon dies suddenly, aged 49

| Matt Nicholls
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FRIENDS, family and former colleagues of Billy Gordon were in shock on Saturday as news filtered through of his death.

The former Member for Cook died in his sleep, his fiancee Olympia Little said.

“I lost the love of my life last night,” she said.

“I’m going to miss you my love; love you always and forever. Fly high, rest easy, Billy.”

Mr Gordon, 49, was the CEO of Indigenous Carbon Australia, having found the first job he really loved after leaving politics.

He first stood for the Labor Party in 2013 in the federal seat of Leichhardt and then won the state seat of Cook in 2015.

“I got involved in politics because I got frustrated with people, politicians and bureaucrats making important decisions about issues that impacted upon my family, my life and my community,” he said in his maiden speech to parliament.

Just months after producing a massive 10.2 per cent swing to unseat LNP incumbent David Kempton, Mr Gordon was forced out of the Labor Party after his previous criminal history was revealed publicly.

Most of the misdemeanours happened when he was a young man, former Skytrans colleague Mike Thinee said.

“Everyone does things when you’re 20 that you don’t do when you’re 40,” he said.

“Billy was great for us at Skytrans and I thought he was a rising star in politics.

“Mentored appropriately, he could have been an inspirational Indigenous leader.

“He was articulate, had a great sense of humour and was compassionate.”

State MP Robbie Katter said he had some great conversations with Mr Gordon both in and out of parliament.

“We had a few disagreements but I think we were supportive of him when he was kicked out by Labor,” he said.

“We had some disagreements but we still spoke after he finished in politics.”

Former Labor Senator Jan McLucas, who was given a special thanks in Mr Gordon’s maiden speech, said she was saddened by his passing.

“My thoughts are with Billy’s family and friends as they come to terms with his untimely passing,” she said.

“His life was full, but all too short. May he rest in peace.”

Hope Vale’s Gerhardt Pearson said Mr Gordon was “one of the great characters of Far North Queensland” and “a staunch and persistent advocate for Indigenous rights”.

“He was brave in his mission, and a good and loyal person,” he wrote on Saturday.

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