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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (29 May) . . Page.. 1060..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

extended period of drought, he was integral to the planning and implementation of water restrictions. Even more recently, his expertise was pivotal to the creation of Actew's proposal to secure the territory's future water supply. Although his technical expertise was clearly evident, Aspi was adept at translating often quite complicated scientific processes and explaining things so that a layperson could understand.

Beyond his professional competence, it is clear from the outpouring of grief, both publicly and at his funeral on Friday, 18 May, that he will be deeply missed by his family, his friends and his co-workers. He was a fine man. My condolences go to his family, friends and co-workers. His loss will be felt by the entire Canberra community.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo): The Greens support Mr Stanhope's motion and we add our condolences to those of the opposition and the government. It is really wonderful that such a citizen of the world—as Aspi was—ended up here in the ACT with a key role in developing water strategies. I believe that this indicates the quality of the people who live and work in our community. We will be bereft by the loss of Aspi Baria. It was my experience that he was a very key person in Actew and in understanding the chemical engineering side of it.

I first got to know Aspi well this year. The first time my office had contact with him was when he rang up after reading an opinion piece that I wrote about water, water management and a water conservation strategy that was published in the Canberra Times. He rang up and said, "I'm going to be right over."He wanted to talk about it—not so much because he was concerned about what was in my opinion piece but because he was a man who was passionate about water and took any opportunity he could to engage in conversation about it. He came over and we had a very frank and open discussion about water policy. We talked about how we might possibly work together.

The next time we had contact with him was when we had a very complete and detailed briefing about the Water2WATER strategy—not that it was called that then; in fact, there was some concern about what kind of name could be given to a scheme that involved the recycling of human waste into water. We agreed that the name was pivotal. I have to say that Water2WATER is not a bad name.

Clearly this is a death that deprives not just Aspi's family but the entire community. It is a death—another death—that I really, really wish had never happened. The fact that it rained on the day of his funeral to me indicates nature's absolute way of doing what it does without consideration of who it affects or how. Of course, for those of us left behind it did have meaning. I am sure that Aspi would have smiled if he had been in a situation where he could. There is no doubt that water was not only his professional life but also engaged him in many of his non-working hours.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I join with the Chief Minister and other members in extending my condolences to Aspi Baria's family and friends on his tragic and untimely passing in the last couple of weeks.

Aspi Baria to me displayed a great warmth and gentleness which belied his strong analytical mind and his passionate commitment to and knowledge of everything to do


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