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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3232..


MR WOOD (continuing):

also has an offsider working with him. The reporter seemed to understand clearly the difference between a ranger and an ecologist.

From the way the article was written, however, it appears that the reporter deliberately took the media adviser's comments about the EACT rangers and applied them to the ecologists, despite being told by my media adviser and later by my senior adviser that this was not the case. My senior adviser also had a discussion with the reporter about the word "ecologist" and our definition of an ecologist, and read her the following extract of an email from the department:

I refer to the ecologists who identify and mark potential habitat trees in advance of tree felling as well as inspecting felled trees as evidence of animal activity.

Generally at least one ecologist is on site from 8 am till the end of felling operations in the afternoon (about 4.30 pm or later)

So both my media adviser and my senior adviser made it abundantly clear to the reporter that the ecologists are required to be on site, and this is consistent with what I said in the Assembly. As the Canberra Times has printed otherwise and not seen fit to print a correction, I want the record in this place, at least, to show that at all times that reporter was given correct information-namely, that at least one ecologist is on site from 8 am till the end of felling operations in the afternoon. It is disappointing that the reporter chose to print incorrect information, and more disappointing that, at least as of today's date, the Canberra Times has not corrected that misinformation.

Mr Bill Bastion

MRS CROSS (10.06): Mr Speaker, I rise to acknowledge one of our brave veterans who met with a sad fate a year ago. I refer to Bill Bastion. It was with a heavy heart that I read Lucy Gibson's article in the Canberra Times last Sunday, and I am going to quote from that article tonight. The article, which was headed "Silent victim of war", read:

June 28 used to be a cause for celebration for Raewyn Bastion-a day she shared with her husband Bill.

It was the day they married and tomorrow would have been their 29th anniversary. But instead of planning a romantic meal, Raewyn finds herself finalising arrangements for a memorial service for the man she once referred to as her rock-the husband, father and grandfather who killed himself in July last year.

To those who knew him, Bill Bastion was a quiet but fun-loving man. A man who rode the Lethal Weapon ride at Movie World with his hearing aid in his mouth, just to please his grand-daughter. A man who would cuddle his niece and not let go until he had finished what he had to say.

But Bill Bastion was also battling the horrors he witnessed during the Vietnam War.

He served in the Australia Air Force during the war but like many vets struggled to retain a normal life on his return. He retired at the age of 58, unable to cope with the stress of work and gradually his health began to deteriorate. He drank and smoked heavily and in the last 10 years before his death showed signs of extreme anxiety.


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