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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3590..


Missing persons

MRS BURKE (9.11): As many will know-I think Mr Smyth has already alluded to it-this is national missing persons week, which runs from 1 to 7 August. I think it is worth reminding people that the national missing persons unit, located within the Australian Federal Police, is responsible for the coordination and promotion of a national integrated approach to reducing the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia and overseas. On average, over 30,000 people are reported missing each year in Australia. Fortunately, 99.5 per cent of those are located within the first 12 months. In the first week of August each year the organisation recognises the situation faced by many families around Australia and overseas when a member of their family has gone missing and, for one reason or another, are never located.

A good little acronym to remember is PLEAS-prevention, location, education and support. During this week, people may have seen a CD which has a very catchy and moving song on it. I am making the call to my constituency in Molonglo and to the broader community that there are CDs available for purchase. I was going to tell you where you can buy them. I cannot seem to find that, but the website is www.missingpersons.gov.au. The song is called Let Us Know, with lyrics and vocals by Dan Kerwin.

Mr Wood: You could sing it for us!

MRS BURKE: I do not think so, Mr Wood. You might like to sing the words for us! I will keep bringing this subject before the public. Having had a family member who went missing for a short period was bad enough. Heaven knows what people whose family members or loved ones go missing for longer than the period I was subjected to go through. I commend this national initiative to the house tonight. I ask that we get behind this national initiative and pass the word on.

Chief Minister-staff

Iraq-fundraising event

MR PRATT (9.13): I rise to talk about a multicultural issue which is of concern to me. Before doing that, I wish to put it on the record that I am quite disgusted at the behaviour of Mr Friedewald, the Chief Minister's senior adviser, who rang my office in response to a call made by my senior staff to the Chief Minister's office to courteously forewarn him of a question without notice. He told my staff member to "get f....d"-expletive deleted. For the record, I would like to place in stone my disgust at that man's lack of professional behaviour. I am still waiting for him to apologise to my senior staffer, Ms Lianos. That is entirely unacceptable.

The next issue I would like to go on about is the activities of the Chief Minister, who has a very high responsibility as the minister responsible for managing multicultural affairs. A number of times I have seen fit to stand up and criticise activities he has undertaken which, on all the feedback I have received from across the multicultural community, have been rather divisive, wedge-driven activities. I think that is irresponsible for a man who has that responsibility.


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