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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1326 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

doing audits in the Department of Defence. I remember that when I was a student he would comment about a number of people he met. He was particularly impressed at all times with Sir Victor Smith. It was not long after that that I commenced playing rugby with Piers Smith, Sir Victor's son, and did so for many years.

Sir Victor Smith was unique in Australian military history. As Harold has said, he was, in 1970, the first naval officer to be elevated to admiral. He was widely regarded as father of the Australian Fleet Air Arm for his efforts with that branch of the Royal Australian Navy. I think it was very sad for Sir Victor when, unfortunately, the Melbourne was not replaced back in the early 1980s.

He had a long and distinguished career with the Fleet Air Arm and an amazing and incredibly brave career in World War II, as Mr Hird has stated. I seem to recall that he was on more than one ship that sank and was involved in many battles, right at the forefront. He had an incredible career in the Royal Australian Navy, a service he was so dedicated to. His career, which spanned just short of 49 years, is probably close to a record, Mr Speaker. He was a remarkable Australian who provided sterling service to his branch of the armed services, and through it to the nation. Also, as Mr Hird has said, he was very much involved in many aspects of the Canberra community.

I join with other members in expressing my condolences to Lady Smith and her family.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.


MS TUCKER (11.05): I present the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1998.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill and three other Bills I am presenting today - the Coroners (Amendment) Bill, the Oaths and Affirmations (Amendment) Bill and the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill - are simple Bills yet are major milestones in the growing public recognition that it is time that Australia presented itself to the world as an independent country that is no longer bound to the English monarchy. At present, judicial office-holders such as judges, coroners and members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal have to take an oath or affirmation of office as part of their appointment. The standard oath or affirmation of office that is incorporated in the various pieces of legislation governing their appointment must have been drafted many, many years ago. The first line of the oath says:

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second, and her heirs and successors.

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