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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5046 ..


well—the Defence Widows Support Group, National Servicemen’s Association of the ACT—I would just like to recognise the president, Bob Hand, and the secretary, Bob Fletcher, whom I have met a number of times—Canberra Ex-Service Women’s Association, ACT TPI Wives Association, RAAF Association—I recognise Peter McDermott—Naval Association of Australia—I recognise Peter Cooke Russell—Royal Australian Signals Association, Royal Australian Regiment Association, of which I am a member—I would like to recognise Fred Pfitzner—Australian Army Training Team Vietnam Association who allow me to march with them on Anzac Day—I would like to recognise their president, John Jackson, and a couple of their members Ian Gollings and Simon Hearder—WRANS Association ACT—Keryn Northrope, and we were out at her memorial the previous weekend—HMAS Sydney, Escorts and Vietnam Logistic Support Veterans Association—I thank them for allowing me to attend one of their meetings—Legacy, of which I am a member, the RSL—I am a member of the Woden Valley sub-branch—Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex Servicemen and Women, Defence Force Welfare Association—I note their president, David Jamison, and also their executive director, Les Bierkiewicz, who I see quite regularly—Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association of Australia, War Widows Guild of Australia, Kindred Organisations Committee—Pat McCabe I would like to especially acknowledge—Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia—Pete Ryan, I know, is a tireless advocate for veterans’ rights—and also the Vietnam Veterans Federation Association of Australia, which has been mentioned by Mr Coe, and also by Ms Le Couteur. Certainly it is worth going for a visit out there to Page to see what they are doing there on behalf of veterans. It is a fantastic facility, and the comradeship is remarkable. I recommend if you are going that you go on the ladies’ Tuesday, where they will cook you lunch. I assure you that it is a pretty good feed, and they will insist that you have a taste of everything—dessert as well—which I did, and went back for seconds.

Mr Coe: Your sense of duty.

MR HANSON: Yes, as a sense of duty, Mr Coe, indeed. But all of the organisations—Legacy, RSL and so on—are doing an amazing job for our veterans. I think it is great that we can take the time in the Assembly here to recognise the unique nature of military service and what we are doing.

I recognise that the government are taking some initiatives towards supporting veterans in the community. I acknowledge those, but I think that it is appropriate that we have a minister for veterans’ affairs. We have ministers for other groups in our community—for example, women and multicultural affairs. They are the sorts of groups that we can look at and ask why we do not have a minister for veterans’ affairs. I certainly think it is appropriate that the government actually come to the table on this one. There has certainly been a call from members of the community for it, including some sections of the RSL.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (3.48): I wanted to address a couple of different facets of this MPI. I thank Mr Coe very much for putting it into the Assembly, and I want to also thank colleagues for the sentiments that they have expressed. To have a healthy society, it has to have its heroes, and its heroes are not just people who have done well in their chosen profession; they are the people who have actually put out an


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