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House of Representatives Practice . . Page.. 499 ..

I feel that Mr Humphries needs to get beyond the business of whose version of the story you should believe and get to the substantive issue, which is that on this occasion, for whatever reason, this person got through to the police on a 000 call and was told, simply, to call again. A procedure should be there for handling these calls in a way which is more sympathetic to the emergency nature of the call and which is more efficient, by diverting the call through to either the ambulance number or somewhere else. That was my sole concern in relation to this issue. I encourage Mr Humphries now, as I encouraged him in the letter that I wrote to him earlier today, to take up that issue and to address those questions, rather than imply that my constituent, who had nothing to gain from this personally, made up the story.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Whitecross, I might make mention of House of Representatives Practice, page 554, under the heading “Debate”. However, I will leave that to you. You might like to have a look at it.

Australia Remembers

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training) (5.06), in reply: I want to talk very briefly on the Australia Remembers proceedings over the last few weeks and commend all the people associated with them. It has been particularly effective and a lot of people have done a lot of work to make sure that we have had some very good spectacles and celebrations. The time tunnel which the Chief Minister recently opened has proved a huge success in terms of depicting what life was like back in the 1940s. I am delighted that, after I spoke to Con Sciacca at a function last Saturday, he agreed to keep it going for another week. It is particularly important that our young people, especially, can see what happened some 50 years ago.

One of the whole purposes of Australia Remembers is to commemorate the end of the worst conflict in world history in which some 55 million people lost their lives. Some time last week, Canberra commemorated the end of the war in Europe in which many Australians fought and died. It is very appropriate that we do not lose track of what Australia Remembers is all about; that is, to commemorate those Australians who lost their lives in defence of their homeland and in defence of freedom from two very great tyrannies - the Axis powers of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. In our own theatre of war some 50 years ago, despite peace in Europe, we were still engaged in a life and death struggle with the Japanese empire, the very nasty regime of then imperialist Japan. I do not think we should lose track of what our people went through and the sacrifices made by previous generations of Australians during World War II. It is terribly appropriate that we, as Canberrans, remember that.

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