In a statement this afternoon, SA Labor leader Peter Malinauskas said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of Gallacher’s death yesterday, after being diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2019.
Born in Scotland, Gallacher migrated with his family to Australia in 1966. He worked as a labourer, truck driver and ramp services operator for airline TAA before joining the TWU as an industrial relations officer in 1988.
He became secretary and treasurer of the union’s SA/NT branch in 1996, and also served as national vice-president in 2006, becoming president in 2007.
Gallacher was elected to the Senate in 2011 and re-elected in 2016 and 2019.
Malinauskas said “Alex never lost his passion to improve the lives of working people”.
“Transport workers could hardly have had a better friend, ally, and advocate in the Australia Parliament than Alex Gallacher,” he said.
“Alex came from the trade union ranks and his passion of advocating and improving workers’ rights, especially for transport workers, was a continuation of his significant contribution in the union movement.”
He is survived by wife Paola, children Caroline, Ian, Terry and Frank and grandchildren.
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