Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4014..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
who do not celebrate Christmas, I also respectfully extend my best wishes for this festive season. I must first thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement over the past eight weeks or so. It has not been an easy time having been left with temporary paralysis of the left vocal chord as a result of a viral infection. Just what a politician needs, I don't think. But the show must go on. I have done my best not to let any of you down, particularly the constituents who put me here.
Having said that, I would like to thank all the support services here at the Assembly—the Secretariat, the chamber support people, the attendants, the library staff, the committee office, Barry Schilg and any one else I have forgotten. I want to thank you very much because nothing is ever too much trouble for you. Thank you very much. Have a safe Christmas; if you are travelling, please be careful on those roads. May the children that you share Christmas with enjoy the special time. And, as I said, to anyone who does not particularly celebrate the birth of Christ, please have an enjoyable time. Do not eat and drink too much. Thank you.
Mr Daniel Bravo
MR BERRY (Ginninderra) (5.10): Yesterday I attended a very sobering affair which occurred on the death of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. It was an impromptu gathering, organised at short notice by the Chilean community, particularly Chileans who have been affected by that monstrous regime.
I first came in contact with Chilean refugees some time after Allende fell to a coup by the Pinochet regime, when a travelling refugee who had been tortured and left for dead came to Australia, generating support for a network of campaigners around the world working against the Pinochet regime. This woman was a university student who, with her friend, was taken from the streets by the military regime. They were tortured; they were doused with petrol, set on fire and left by the roadside. They were found by a passer-by and taken to hospital. The male died. The female went on to depart the country as a refugee to seek treatment in Canada and then embarked on a world tour to engender support for the campaign in Chile. She wore a complete body suit as a result of her injuries. It was quite a moving experience to meet somebody like that who had been exposed to such torture.
It was also my experience to have a Chilean in my office. Members in this Assembly would remember Daniel, who worked in my office. Daniel was a refugee from Chile as well. Daniel was on the death list in Chile, with his family. He was ushered from safe house to safe house for six months while advocates for refugees found a spot for him somewhere in the world. Of course, refugees and people who were being ushered from safe house to safe house were not told where they were going. In the middle of the night, somebody would come to the house and say, "You are coming with us."They would not know whether they were friends or foe. They and their families would take off in the middle of the night and end up in another safe house somewhere. Imagine what that would be like.
This went on until one night when a priest came to his house and said, "We are going."Not knowing where they were going, the same routine was followed. He was