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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2082..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

was currently not available and they would prefer that those discussions involve the vice-chancellor, and that they were still awaiting some further confirmation.

As I indicated, the chief executive of the Chief Minister's Department has written to the Auditor-General and to the ombudsman about the issue. I think the letters are self-explanatory and do give some detail of exactly what is happening in relation to the consideration of the issues that you raised, Ms Tucker. I table those two letters for the information of members.

Mr Alec Campbell

MR BERRY (6.50): A lot has been said about Alec Campbell and his involvement in Gallipoli, and I don't need to repeat any of that except to say that for about six weeks Alec was in Gallipoli. He enlisted at the age of 16, and by the time he was demobbed and got back to Tasmania he was 17.

I want to refer to a part of Alec Campbell's life that has not been talked about. According to the publication I have in front of me, Workers Online, it is the sort of story you would not read in the Daily Telegraph. Alec Campbell had a very busy life after his involvement in Gallipoli. According to this publication, he lived in South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. He was variously a jackaroo, a carpenter, a railway carriage builder, a mature age university student, a public servant, a research officer and a historian. He married twice and had nine children. Alec was also an amateur boat builder, a self-taught navigator and a Sydney to Hobart yachtsman during the early years of the race. He also enjoyed hunting, and somewhere along the line he did a bit of boxing.

Not a lot of this was published in the course of recent reports about his involvement in Gallipoli. Politically and industrially-and this was not reported either-Alec was a socialist, a trade unionist and an anti-fascist, and during the Spanish civil war he considered going to Spain to join the fight against the fascist forces of General Franco.

One of his daughters described him as an enthusiastic unionist who put everything into this activity. I think it is good that we are able to acknowledge Alec's further involvement in the community, because he was a real Australian who worked for the betterment of Australians. He was regarded by the conservative press as a red during the Launceston local council elections where he campaigned, with union endorsement, for slum clearance, low rental public housing, anti-pollution measures and anti-monopoly measures.

He was a man who was fully involved in the community. Alec became the president of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Railways Union from 1939 to 1941, and of Launceston Trades Hall Council from 1939 to 1942. In those tough times he was known to be quick tempered. Sometimes his fists did the talking. He was a man of his times. During his long life he also worked variously with peace activists and anti-conscriptionists. He is a fellow who stood on his own two feet.

According to this publication-and I think this sums up Alec's humour-when talking to a union organiser from the CFMEU a few years ago, Alec said, "I wonder if Howard would give me a state funeral if he knew what I really stood for?"


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