MPs shed tears for Vic ALP warrior Garrett

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Political friends and rivals have shed tears in Victorian parliament remembering former Labor MP Jane Garrett after she succumbed to breast cancer.

The mother-of-three and former emergency services minister died in early July, soon after parliament went on a six-week winter hiatus. She was 49.

Both houses of state parliament moved condolence motions on Wednesday, with her family in the public gallery to hear tributes from MPs across the political divide.

Premier Daniel Andrews described her as a champion for fairness and mentor to many in the Labor and union movements.

"Jane's intellect was obvious. She was passionate in her pursuits, and she hated inequality and disadvantage above all else," he told the lower house.

"We are richer for Jane Garrett being here and we're so much poorer for her passing."

Outspoken Liberal MP Tim Smith wept as he talked about his "bizarre friendship" with Ms Garrett after the pair met when young mayors of Yarra and Stonnington.

"Jane was my best friend. No one has had a bigger influence in my life than her," the outgoing MP said.

"There was nothing at all that we ever agreed on ... I'm an insufferable Tory as you all know."

Mr Smith said he learned her cancer had returned on the night he "disgraced" himself by crashing his car into a Hawthorn home in October last year while more than twice the legal blood-alcohol limit.

"I knew the prognosis was very bad and I knew deep down that I never would see her again and I didn't," he said.

Ms Garrett entered parliament as the member for Brunswick in 2010 and was elevated to cabinet in 2014, before quitting in 2016 over a controversial firefighters' union pay deal.

She moved to the upper house in 2018 and had announced she would not recontest her seat at the November election.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said Ms Garrett was respected by the whole parliament and became a hero to thousands of Country Fire Authority volunteers for her principled stance.

"She made it clear in this chamber and out that her passion and loyalty would always be with the CFA volunteers, even if it was at the expense of her own career," he said.

In the upper house, a yellow rose and blanket was placed on her seat as her former senior advisor-turned-fellow Labor MP Mark Gepp recalled the pair consoling locals after the Wye River bushfires in 2015.

"The one thing the mob can always spot from a politician is BS, and that was never apparent in Jane Garrett," said a teary Mr Gepp.

She was "Labor to her bootstraps", he added.

Ms Garrett's long-awaited state memorial service will be held at Brunswick Town Hall on September 2, two months after her death.

Ms Garrett is survived by husband James and her three children, Sasha, Max and Molly.

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