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Christopher Pyne Bows Out Of Politics To Laughter And Tears

After almost 27 years in parliament, Defence Minister and Leader of the House Christopher Pyne is calling time on politics.

Christopher Pyne may not have a "log cabin" story, but he once had to get his own lemon for a gin and tonic.

The veteran South Australian MP and Liberal minister gave his final speech in parliament on Thursday, ahead of stepping down at the next election after almost 27 years in federal politics.

He admitted to having a "fortunate life", after quoting former US president Franklin D Roosevelt's famous line about the "test of our progress" being "whether we provide enough for those who have little".

"I do not have a log cabin story like so many people in this place - but I once did have to get my own lemon for a gin and tonic," he said.

"That may or may not qualify."

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne hugs Shadow Minister for Defence Richard Marles after making his valedictory speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House, in Canberra, Thursday, April 4, 2019. Photo: AAP.

With nine election wins under his belt, Pyne said he was going to "miss the stage" and his fellow MPs.

"This place brings out the best of us and the worst in us," he said.

"I've seen some truly dreadful people come through here over the last quarter of a century, Mr Speaker. It is true."

Since 1993, he was a backbencher for 10 years and a frontbencher for 16, including six years in cabinet.

The defence minister paid a special tribute to Australia's military personnel.

"To be a minister for defence is to see Australians at their best."

Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne reacts after delivering his valedictory speech in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, April 4, 2019. Photo: AAP.

He expressed confidence that Prime Minister Scott Morrison would win the election and his replacement in Sturt, staffer James Stevens, would retain the seat.

"I've relished the opportunity - thank you, goodbye and good luck," he said, fighting back tears.

His Labor counterpart, Tony Burke, paid tribute to him.

"The Leader of the House is someone who has always loved the parliament," he said.