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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1621 ..

I am pleased to see the community’s views have been incorporated into the proposal put forward in the development application. The DA notification period provides a further opportunity for the community to have their say on the project before the independent planning and land authority make a decision. The development application is notified on the planning directorate website. Submissions can be made via a link in the notification. The notification period closes on 18 May 2018. If anyone would like to comment on the development application, they need to submit by then.

Australian frontier wars

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.25): Madam Speaker, 25 April was Anzac Day. On 28 May we will celebrate Reconciliation Day. I want to speak about both of these occasions today in the sitting week between them. Members may not have thought there was any link between them, but both of them involve wars, and, unfortunately, they are not equally nationally commemorated or even discussed. Anzac Day focuses on Australia’s and New Zealand’s involvements in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions, but it does not include the wars that occurred on Australian soils.

The Australian frontier wars were fought between Indigenous Australians and white settlers during the British colonisation of Australia. The first fighting took place shortly after the landing of the First Fleet in January 1788, and the last clashes occurred as recently as the first half of the last century.

Looking at the history of war between black and white is part of the ongoing work of reconciliation. This year the Aboriginal tent embassy organised a fortnight of storytelling about the wars before Anzac Day. On Anzac Day they walked after the other marchers. I visited the tent embassy just before Anzac Day and met Hazel Davies, among others. She is a florist who has made many official commemorative wreaths. Now she is making desert peas to commemorate all the Indigenous people killed in war and other violence. One of her desert peas is what I am wearing right now.

She sees the desert peas as commemorating Indigenous Australians while poppies commemorate other Australians. Both groups have been killed in war and other violence. Both and all are important. Hazel has written a poem, The Poppies and the Peas, which I will now read:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Their silky memories share and soak our nation’s grieving walls

Red song lines resurrect the lost to love

And love is given up to hope

We clutch the poppy to our breast

And to the creviced walls we press in … and press on.

Talisman of a transplanted nation

Whose portal steps are found in blood

We cover, cover with the red

The bloody truth of our dead.

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