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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1421 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

It is a source of some pride to me as I look back that Alan Hocking was a work mate of mine. He was in the Fire Service. He was also one of my union members. As you take into account all of the things that happened, it makes you appreciate more the association that you have had with people who have been able to make a contribution to society as Alan has. I hope his award goes well and I hope that his recognition lasts for a long time, because he deserves it. I know the family of the young girl. Of course, the young girl will appreciate it in the future. It was a brave effort.

One other thing I would like to say about Alan is that he left the Fire Service and went off into private enterprise. He left the city and returned some time later. He has taken a risk with the vessel on the lake to provide a tourist service. It was the subject of much publicity when the previous tourist service on the lake was withdrawn. It is a bit of a punt for him. He has invested a lot of money in it and I hope it goes well for him. He is a small businessman.

Mr Hocking has been involved in another act of bravery. He has said that he is going to cut through the fence around Floriade if it is put up during the Floriade Festival, because he has commitments and bookings for passengers during the Floriade Festival. I do not think Mr Hocking will get any bravery awards for cutting through the fence, but he certainly has some grounds for his anger over this issue, because he is an operator who has taken a punt on the tourism industry in the ACT. He has gone in to fill a gap that was obviously there. I hope that this small businessman's business is not damaged by the actions of this Government in the way that they have handled the Floriade Festival. Best wishes to Alan Hocking.

Mr Alan Hocking : Canberra Raiders

MR HIRD (6.45): Mr Speaker, following on from what Mr Berry has just said - it is unique for me to join with Mr Berry - I also would like to compliment Mr Hocking on his bravery. Members would be aware that I am a member of the Royal Lifesaving Society and I have been involved in lifesaving since 1956. Mr Hocking will be put up for suitable awards, both within Australia and within the Commonwealth, from that society, as will the two police officers who assisted Mr Hocking on that occasion. I join with all members in saying to Mr Hocking, "A job well done". I think his deeds speak for themselves. I am certain that they will be recognised by the society, certainly within Australia. Mr Hocking has also been nominated for a Commonwealth award, the Edinburgh Award. Only one Edinburgh Award is issued throughout the Commonwealth countries each year, and it is a great honour for anyone even to be put forward for consideration. We will wait to see the outcome.

On another matter, Mr Speaker, on Friday night the Canberra Raiders will play at Bruce Stadium in one of the National Rugby League finals. The new complex at Bruce will have an extra 1,900 seats available for the game, for which I compliment those concerned. The citizens of the ACT and surrounding areas will have the opportunity to see two fine teams play at a magnificent venue. I encourage all members to go and support their local team.

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