VALE: Paul Neville passed away overnight at Bundaberg Hospital
VALE: Paul Neville passed away overnight at Bundaberg Hospital Max Fleet BUN070416GRAD2

Tributes flow for former MP Paul Neville

BUNDABERG has lost one of its greats, a man who has been described as a true gentleman with a wicked sense of humour.

Former Member for Hinkler Paul Christopher Neville, 78, died at Bundaberg Hospital overnight.

Mr Neville was the Member for Hinkler from 1993-2013, making him one of the longest-serving parliamentarians in the Wide Bay.

Close friends said Mr Neville had been suffering with health problems for some time.

Tributes have started flowing for a man widely respected by all sides of politics.

"Anyone who can hold the seat (of Hinkler) for that amount of time has considerable political acumen," said Brian Courtice, the Labor politician who Mr Neville replaced as the Member for Hinkler before they went on to later form a close friendship.

"My sympathies are with Paul's wife, Margaret, and his family.

"He achieved so much ... he had his finger on the pulse and he understood politics."

Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien said Mr Neville was "a man of integrity, a great family man, incredibly community minded and a loyal friend".

"He served his electorate and our nation with distinction," Mr O'Brien said.

Mr Neville and the love of his life, wife Margaret, had five children, including two sets of twins: Gaye and Gavin, Sally-Anne, and Paul and Peter.

Mr Neville was born in Warwick in 1940 and had a varied life before entering politics.

He was known for his role of manager of both the Moncrieff Theatre (at the time the Crest Cinema) and the Bundaberg District Tourism and Development Board.

The Olympia Theatre as it was originally was closed for renovations in 1973 before reopening later that year as the Crest with Mr Neville in charge until 1981.

Throughout his political career Mr Neville was involved in a variety of parliamentary committees and chaired several including Transport and Regional Services from 2002-2007.

At 72 years of age and after 20 years in parliament, Mr Neville announced in October 2012 he would not recontest his seat at the 2013 election.

He won every booth in Hinkjler at the 2010 poll and built up a 10.4 per cent majority for his successor, current member Keith Pitt.

Mr Neville told the NewsMail at the time of his retirement that it was "good to leave at the top of your game".

At the time of his exit from politics he said he had derived his greatest satisfaction from talking and listening to the people of his electorate.