Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 25 August 2005 2005) . . Page.. 3274 ..
For me, it meant that I grew up in a household that had a very interesting mix. On the one hand, all of my family from my father’s side would celebrate Christmas and I understood the significance of Christmas. I have cousins who are Catholics and cousins who are Protestant of some form or other. On the other, of course, I grew up celebrating many of the Jewish holidays and, as a good Jewish friend of mine says, most Jewish celebrations involve “They tried to kill us and we survived; let’s eat.”
So, for me, the whole idea of a multicultural Australia is very significant. I spoke earlier in the week about the B’nai B’rith Courage to care exhibition, which I would still encourage people to go along to, and I did not get to finish a quote concerning Pastor Niemoller, a Protestant minister in Germany in the 1930s. Pastor Niemoller was opposed to the ideas and methods of Nazism and at the end of the war helped issue a document called the Stuttgart confession, an acknowledgment that the clergy had not done enough in the struggle against the Nazis. He said:
In Germany they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me—and by that time no-one was left to speak up.
That quote shows the importance of speaking up and of encouraging tolerance within our community. With Nazi Germany, we saw the impact of what happens when we stray from having a tolerant society. So it is a duty of all of us to continue to encourage the promotion of tolerance within our society.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (4.47): I would like to make a few points in clarification of a couple of things that the Chief Minister said. The Chief Minister is always twisting things. I guess it is because he is blinded by that light on the hill. Today, he failed to get the basic facts right. He spoke about a John Simpson Fitzpatrick. I think he meant John Simpson Kirkpatrick. It is a basic thing; we are taught that at school. Perhaps Jon should have paid more attention at school to learning about the fundamentals of what it is to be an Australian.
He also said that Simpson—Simpson and the donkey, as he is known—was a Scot. He was not. He was born on 6 July 1892 in South Shields, England. Get your facts straight, Chief Minister.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, the time has expired for the discussion on the matter of public importance.
Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2005 (No 3)
Debate resumed from 16 August 2005, on motion by Mr Stanhope:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (4.48): Despite what the government may say and despite the addition of a raft of technical amendments, we all