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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 572..


MR PRATT (continuing):

According to this man's story, it took the police six weeks to catch the offender. When he was not given a custodial sentence, he returned to the complex. One question is why that would be the case and another is why, after so many months of complaints by tenants to ACT housing, would he then come back and reoccupy that flat to carry on with his bullying and quite violent behaviour. I would have thought throwing a Molotov cocktail showed fairly clear intent to cause severe damage and injury and perhaps risk killing somebody in the process.

Having raised that apparently serious matter, I will leave it with my colleagues. I will reserve my judgement until the various government ministers respond. I guess it begs the question of whether the stories we hear about the management of government housing are true in terms of whether the government is failing to exercise a duty of care to the majority of tenants who live in these places who are law-abiding citizens but who have to put up with this fringe element who, out of all proportion, are quite dangerous and upsetting. This particular man I saw last night has had a bad time. Why can he not just settle down and regather his life without having to put up with those sorts of threats? That is the fundamental question.

International Youth Week

Housing—public

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.19): I would like to use my time in tonight's adjournment debate to comment on the visit to the Legislative Assembly of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon last Tuesday, 26 February. The cross has been touring the country since 1 July 2007 and will, before World Youth Day in July this year, go through every diocese in every state and territory in Australia. I was pleased to see quite a good sized crowd gathered to greet the cross last week and to be able to listen to His Grace Archbishop Coleridge, Archbishop of the Canberra and Goulburn Diocese, greet and bless the cross. I also acknowledge that the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Dunne, Mrs Burke, Mr Smyth and I were in attendance.

It is worth putting on the record in this place a little bit of background to this iconic journey ahead of World Youth Day. The cross itself is 3.8 metres high and was built in 1983. It was originally placed near the main altar of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican before it was gifted by the late Pope John Paul II as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity. His Holiness the Pope said at the time:

My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption.

Since 1984, the cross has travelled around the world, including trips behind the Iron Curtain during the cold war and to every continent. The tradition of undertaking a year-long journey around the diocese of the host nation of International World Youth Day began in 1994. The cross is accompanied on its journey by the icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani, a contemporary copy of the sacred and ancient icon housed in the St Mary Major Basilica.


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