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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2006) . . Page.. 2501 ..

They tramp there in their legions on the morning dark and cold

To beg the right to slave for bread from Sydney’s lords of gold;

They toil and sweat in slavery, ‘twould make the devil smile

To see the Sydney wharfies tramping down the hungry mile

On ships from all the seas they toil, that others of their kind

May never know the pinch of want or feel the misery blind

That make the lives of men a hell in those conditions vile

That are the hopeless lot of those who tramp the hungry mile.

The slaves of men who know no thought of anything but gain

Who wring their brutal profits from the blood and sweat and pain

Of all the disinherited who slave and starve the while

Upon the ships beside the wharves along the hungry mile

But every stroke of that grim lash that sears the souls of men

With interest due from years gone by shall be paid back again

To those who drive these wretched slaves to build the golden pile

And blood shall blot the memory out—of Sydney’s hungry mile.

The day will come, aye, come it must, when these same slaves shall rise

And through the revolution’s smoke, ascending to the skies,

The master’s face shall show the fear he hides behind his smile

Of these his slaves who on that day shall storm the hungry mile.

And when the world grows wiser and all men at last are free

When none shall feel the hunger nor tramp in misery

To beg the right to slave for bread, the children then may smile

At those strange tales they tell of what was once the hungry mile.

Thanks, Glenn, for your hard work and your inspiration.


MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (18.13): I take the opportunity this evening to read large portions of a letter that I, and I think all members, received from Jenni and Warren Bucton from Banks, addressed to Ms Katy Gallagher, Australian Labor Party, member for Molonglo. The letter reads:

Dear Ms Gallagher,

I am P & C president of Kambah High School and my husband is the Board Chair at Village Creek Primary School, and our three children attend both of these schools which are targeted for closure at the end of 2007 by the ACT Governments 2020 proposal. We have been looking closely at the 2020 proposal and have been busy attending the many meetings and forums over the last two months dedicated to this subject. We have endeavoured to hear all the information that we can of this proposal. Unfortunately, all of these meetings, forums and personal meetings with Mr. Barr himself have not allayed our fears and concerns regarding this proposal.

I’d like to say at this point, that I have never protested (until recently) in my life and have also been a staunch labour voter since my 18th birthday. I personally am feeling very betrayed by the present labour governments stance on this proposal and believe I have very good reasons to be concerned for my children’s future. I believe that the 2020 proposal does not address the education needs of my children who unfortunately come under the category of ‘Special Needs’. My three beautiful children, Corinne 14, Marnie 12 and Tom 10, have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum

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