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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4311 ..


Bryan Pratt—tribute

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.12): Today, I rise to pay tribute to the life and passing of Bryan Harry Pratt. Tributes have poured in from across the country in the past week for Canberra fishing icon Dr Bryan Pratt who passed away last month at the age of 81 after losing his battle with throat cancer. The respected forest pathologist, administrator, author, family man, fisherman and tackle shop owner was a long-time Canberra Times columnist and passionate about this capital’s waterways.

Dr Pratt spent the last 30 years of his life dedicated to passing on advice and teaching young anglers how to fish. His book, The Canberra Fisherman, first published in 1979, was regarded as the bible for Canberra anglers.

Bryan moved to Canberra in 1965 to work for the Commonwealth Bureau of Environmental Studies. He was a lecturer in the forestry department at ANU before moving to the ACT parks and conservation service, then still part of the federal government. In that role he variously administered fisheries, forestry, city parks and wildlife. The parks service, and his office, was then located in the building now occupied by the ACT Legislative Assembly. Bryan retired in 1988 to set up his tackle shops and do what he loved best, going fishing.

Bryan will be remembered by many Canberrans, and Canberra anglers in particular, for successfully campaigning to have Googong Dam, just outside the ACT, opened to recreational fishing in the 1980s. Bryan argued that because water went into tertiary treatment after it left the reservoir it should be safe for the population; there should be no harmful bacteria, viruses or nematodes or other organisms coming out of Googong. Bryan would probably love to be remembered as the driving force behind Googong Dam becoming a recreational fishing spot. He would certainly have a yarn to tell you about it.

As a fellow Canberra angler said, “I have lost a lifetime mate, a legendary icon of Canberra, a true gentleman and a damn great fisherman.” My condolences to his family and friends. Vale, Bryan Harry Pratt.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 4.15 pm until Tuesday, 30 October 2018, at 10 am.


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