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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1389..


Thursday, 3 May 2001

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Death of Robert Beatty

Condolence Motion

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of Robert (Bob) Beatty, who made a significant contribution to the causes of sustainable energy, socially responsible industry, and mental health services and advocacy; and tenders its profound sympathy to his family and friends in their bereavement.

Bob Beatty's death over Easter this year was and is cause for deep sadness and great distress. I feel it is a great privilege to move this motion of condolence in the Legislative Assembly today.

Bob Beatty died on 15 April aged 46. He has left behind not only his family but also an extraordinary range of friends and associates who, without exception, remember him as generous, optimistic, and forward thinking.

Bob's legacy will never be more apparent than at his funeral at Ainslie All Saints Church on Monday, April 23. Although a profoundly sad occasion, it was, like Bob, marked by humour, generosity, and hope. It was conducted very much in and with his spirit, and was an extraordinary celebration of his life, with over 400 people attending.

Bob's family spoke eloquently about the young Robbie growing up in Darwin and then Canberra, his shining intelligence, his fearlessness, his enthusiasm and his warmth. University colleagues spoke of Bob's buoyancy and confidence, his academic and sporting prowess, his energy and good humour. It was clear, from the beginning, that Bob really was an exceptional character who gave generously on every front.

Bob's shift from electrical engineering to journalism reflected his commitment to activism, and to using his skills and understanding to effect real change in how we organise our society. He was a brilliant and insightful writer for industry publications including Engineers Australia, ERT Energy News, National Constructor and Business Daily, and radical in his time for campaigning for environmental and ethical responsibility. Bob was instrumental in founding the Society for Social Responsibility in Engineering, which was active in the 1980s.

As virtually the founding editor of Electricity Week in 1987, Bob created a publication which leapt beyond the bounds of public relations to set the Australian standard for industry newsletters. As Hugh Saddler wrote in an obituary published in the publication last Thursday:


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