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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3086..


MR PRATT (continuing):

committed and compassionate man but a man who, by force of his personality and quiet strength of character, really broke down the barriers and got things done. He was affectionately known by his colleagues as "the Surge". He was a man with the potential to become UN Secretary-General. The world has lost a great man.

Sergio sadly was trapped in the rubble and fought bravely for four hours before he died. I hope that the animals who placed the truck beneath Sergio's office, who killed all those people and who have further burdened the Iraqi people, get theirs and get theirs slowly.

I feel sorry for the families of the loved ones killed and especially for the Iraqi staff killed in that place. The Iraqi staff were a precious commodity; they were a rare commodity in a newly emerging civilised Iraqi society.

Again, I deeply mourn the passing of Sergio de Mello. We must fervently hope this tragedy will not destroy the resolve of the international intervention in Iraq and the Iraqi people themselves.

Chief Minister

MRS DUNNE (6.52): Mr Speaker, I cannot let this sitting of the Assembly conclude without making some comment about the petulance and bad grace of the Chief Minister. This is a man who runs around jockeying for notice and telling everyone who would care to listen-and many who do not-just how great he is.

One of the measures of greatness is being able to admit that you have made a mistake and withdrawing gracefully. Twice this week we have seen examples of where the Chief Minister has failed to do this. On Tuesday he accused Mr Smyth of lying in this Assembly and, in the process of withdrawing, he accused him of misleading the Assembly. He then cast other aspersions upon his character when really all he should have done was withdraw.

But the most egregious example was yesterday when he accused Mr Pratt, almost sotto voce, of being a mole. When he was asked at the end of the day to withdraw, he could not do so gracefully. He said his remark was jocular but, from where I sat, seeing his fixed eye, his fixed jaw and his twitching lip, it did not look jocular to me.

Mr Pratt and his colleagues were arrested by Serbian authorities. They were imprisoned, beaten, falsely accused of spying and convicted by a kangaroo court. They disappeared. I am sure that the friends, colleagues and family of Mr Pratt do not take kindly to the notion of being accused of spying. These men were aid workers-men very much like Sergio de Mello that Mr Pratt has just spoken about-delivering vital lifesaving services to refugees. These people were heroes to the people they served. Mr Pratt and his colleagues were heroes in this country because of the unjust treatment that was meted out to them by the henchmen of the crumbling Serbian regime.

It is not jocular to come in here and make the sorts of comments that we heard from Mr Stanhope last night. "I can no longer watch a James Bond or a spy movie without the dreadful images of Mr Pratt flooding in front of my mind."What he clearly said was that


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