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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (29 May) . . Page.. 1142..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

I hope those reports are wrong. If those reports are correct, I think that the Canberra Raiders should justify why they are choosing to get rid of Mr Irwin and treat him in a very different way from how they are treating Mr Carney. I think that would be disappointing and I think it would undermine their argument that they are really doing it out of the best of motives. It may suggest, if it is true, that it is really about the fact that Todd Carney is a very valuable player, rather than any sort of loyalty that they may have to him. I will give them the benefit of the doubt at this point, hoping that they will clarify that, but I would put on record that, if it is true, it is disappointing and it is a disappointing double standard.

Death of Malietoa Tanumafili II

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.31): On behalf of the Assembly and the ACT community, I would like to extend condolences to the family of the late Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili II, the people of Samoa and the Samoan community in Canberra, following his funeral on Friday, 18 May 2007. The late Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili II was fondly referred to as the father of Samoa by speakers at his funeral service in the capital, Apia. He died on 11 May 2007 in Tupua Tamasese National Hospital, aged 94. He was the oldest head of state in the world.

The king inherited his royal title in 1940 and was made a special adviser to the New Zealand governor in Samoa following the death of his father, Malietoa Tanumafili I. He was a key figure in Samoa's drive towards independence and was made joint head of state for life, alongside Tupua Tamasese Meaole, when Samoa became the first Pacific Islands country to achieve independence from New Zealand in 1962. The king became sole head of state when Tupua Tamasese Meaole died in 1963. Under Samoa's constitution, Malietoa's successor will be appointed for five-year terms and will be decided by the country's legislative assembly, which is elected from mainly customary chiefs every five years.

Reverend Oka Feolo, Chairman of the Samoan Council of Churches, told mourners, "While this means the passing of our dearly beloved father, he is a hero who has put the sword in the sea and God calls him forward forever."Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi praised the late head of state as "the personification of Samoan peace and unity". As a sign of that respect, the Samoan community, which comprises two major organisations, held a special church service for the late king at the Uniting Church in Civic at 7.00 pm on Wednesday, 23 May 2007.

The Samoan community in Canberra numbers some 500 people. As a new and emerging community in Canberra, the Samoan community is among those that the ACT government is supporting through the provision of office accommodation within the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre. I need to say that the Samoan community have been stalwarts of our National Multicultural Festival over many years. I know members have enjoyed the presentations that they have made.

Head of State Malietoa Tanumafili II will be sadly missed by the Samoans in Canberra and throughout the world as well as in the broader Pacific Islander


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