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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (5 August) . .

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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

Motion of condolence

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Health, Minister for Higher Education and Minister for Regional Development): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its profound sorrow at the devastating loss of life from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, and tenders its heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the victims, and to all those touched by this senseless tragedy.

Since this Assembly last met the world has been rocked by tragedy of a kind not seen before. In many ways, it is a tragedy still unfolding. The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 has wreaked havoc in the lives of families across the world and our community has not been untouched. Therefore, it is appropriate that this Assembly expresses its deep and sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the 298 passengers and crew who tragically lost their lives in this incident.

Australia lost 38 innocent people; grandparents, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandchildren from cities and towns in most states and territories. Throughout the days that followed the crash of MH17 we got to know a little about those who lost their lives. Who can ever forget the innocent faces of this tragedy, of Mo, Evie and Otis returning home to start the school term with their guardian, their granddad, on that flight ensuring their safe return. Those three happy little faces in one photo sum up the loss that the MH17 crash has inflicted on those that flew that day and those they left behind.

Beyond our borders this act of violence did not discriminate. It took lives of people from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Philippines, United States, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada. I would particularly like to offer my profound sympathy to the family and friends of Lil Derden from Hall, to her partner Craig, her two daughters Cassandra and Chelsea, her new granddaughter Ella Jane, and her family both in Australia and in Belgium. Our sympathies are with her, her friends, her work colleagues at the National Health and Medical Research Council and all that knew her when she worked at Calvary hospital.

Our thoughts are also with her many friends in the tight-knit community of Hall. I was privileged to join with them recently for a moving memorial service. It is perhaps only by looking at the impact of Lil's loss in our community that we gain some understanding of the scale of grief and loss which is being felt around Australia and the world.


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