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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 352..


MRS BURKE (continuing):

to be a comfort to him over this period. He had a marvellous sense of humour and kept that going to the end. Tony passed away in his sleep on Saturday, 7 February 2004. May he rest in peace.

Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Calvary Hospital for all the wonderful care he received from the nursing, medical and ancillary staff. I would also like to thank the often unsung heroes at the office of the Public Trustee-in particular, Mr Stephen Kellett. Finally, I would like to thank William Cole Funerals for their help and consideration.

Australia Day citizenship ceremony

MR CORNWELL (6.02): I rise to raise two matters in relation to the Australia Day weekend. Firstly, I wish to support my colleague Mr Smyth and express my disgust at the speech of the Chief Minister when he spoke, as he identified himself, about matters of reconciliation without saying sorry, asylum seekers, also known as illegal immigrants, and the Iraq war. I felt that all of it was totally out of place so far as the Australia Day celebrations were concerned.

We had there over 100 people who would become citizens and no doubt they were very bemused by this strange welcome to their new country. You were there, Mr Speaker; I saw you. I did not see any of the other Labor members, but perhaps they were there. Perhaps they were cowering somewhere behind trees after the speech. I certainly support Mr Smyth's comments. I did walk out. I was one of those who did. I had given my word to a number of decent Australians, some of whom had fought in previous wars for this country, that I would speak on the adjournment on this matter and I am therefore fulfilling my promise to them.

On a happier note, I would like to pay a compliment to the Rivers firefighting group which turned up on Sunday, 25 January at 10.00 am in Banks Street in Yarralumla. Three firemen, a person from Environment and a person from the recovery centre were there to address interested locals in relation to bushfire control and the various steps that you should take to protect your house.

Unfortunately, being the Sunday of a long weekend, there were only 17 people present. Nevertheless, I commend them for the initiative. I hope it will be continued in the future. I hope we will also get a better weekend than the long weekend of Australia Day, but that was not their fault. Of course, the event could have been better advertised. Perhaps one way we could do that, Mr Speaker, would be to mention it in the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter for Yarralumla, but there are other means of distributing this information through the suburbs of Canberra. I commend the meeting and I think that it was an excellent initiative.

Dangerous substances legislation

MR PRATT (6.05): Mr Speaker, I wish to raise two issues. The first one is a follow-up on today's debate on the Dangerous Substances Bill. I was really quite pleased to see the government, the Greens and the Democrats agree today with the opposition to adjourn the detail phase of that debate. The reason was that we know that there needs to be


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