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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 351..


MS MacDONALD (continuing):

Mr Smyth. If they had asked me, I would have been happy to leave it for them. Considering that you were not there, you certainly have this amazing ability for mental telepathy, I have to suggest, Mr Smyth.

MR SPEAKER: Please address your comments through the chair.

MS MacDONALD: I apologise, Mr Speaker, for not having directed my comments through the chair. As I said, the press release was under Mr Hargreaves's heading and I believe that Mr Smyth has misrepresented me in this place, I believe that he should get his facts straight before he gets up in this place and I believe that he owes me an apology.

Death of Mr Anthony Schonbaum

MRS BURKE (5.59): Mr Speaker, I rise tonight to remember with fondness one of Canberra's longstanding residents, Mr Anthony Schonbaum. It is a shame that the Chief Minister is not here to hear this, too, but he may be listening to it somewhere else. Tony, as he was known to his friends, lived at the Currong Apartments for over 40 years. Tony spent much of his working life in Canberra as a researcher with the ANU. Tony lived a full and busy life. Never having married, he spent a great deal of his time travelling round the world.

Having got to know him over a couple of months prior to his death, I had many a conversation with him about his travels. Tony was a fascinating old man and a gentleman of 80 years of age who had seen some remarkable things on his travels. He showed me with great pride many paper clippings from around the world in relation to his unusual hobby of collecting rubber stamps from post offices and banks. He kept these stamp imprints in a book that went everywhere with him-most fascinating. There was even one in it from my home town in England.

I came to know Tony a couple of months ago when he called my office most distressed because, in his words, he felt like a prisoner in his own home as the one and only lift he could physically access was out of action. As people will know, I did try desperately to have the lift fixed. It had been out of action for over a week. When I became involved in that process, Tony had been confined to his bed and I was keeping him company, so I guess I stepped in to be a friend to him at the right time.

Members may recall the rather unfortunate and derogatory comments the Chief Minister made about me about going to the media in relation to Tony's plight. That was rather unfortunate and sad because I do not believe that Mr Stanhope would have said what he said had he known the real situation and circumstances. I was not shamelessly exploiting vulnerable tenants. I believe he said those things out of sheer ignorance of this man's circumstances and that he was totally unaware that Tony was heavily reliant on this particular lift due to his medical condition.

However, all this said, I was honoured and happy to have been a friend to Tony in his hour of need. Tony was a chronic arthritis sufferer. He had a heart condition and had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His health declined very rapidly over Christmas and, on being admitted to Calvary Hospital, he was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Although in great pain, Tony tried to remain positive to the end and I was glad


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