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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1381 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

If we do it this year, I do not know what we will do if they crack the hat-trick-whether we would go around again, or what. In my notes, I have a reminder to remember the volunteers that work there, as well as Steve Gower and his staff. They seem to be a dedicated cadre of people who enjoy what they do, so we are very happy to accept this.

There is ever the caveat. We do not want to devalue the currency in relation to receptions, so they become as much a photo opportunity for us as a recognition for the people being honoured. At a recent one-I won't say which one, and I won't say who-there was a crack made about politicians in the glow of success. People can become cynical about the process.

I believe we ought to run a tasteful reception for the people from the War Memorial. I will check when the next awards are to be run. I will then try to find out whether they are going to win it for the third time in a row. If they are not going to win it for the third time in a row, I would like to have the reception now. If they are going to win it for the third time in a row, we would like to have the reception later. Maybe we had better play it safe. I am very happy to accept the amendment, amended to an Assembly reception, which I believe is quite appropriate.

MS TUCKER (9.06): The Australian War Memorial is just that. It is a memorial to people who have died or have been injured in war. It is a memorial to the horror of war and the cost and experience of war.

In an economic sense, I guess we are lucky that the Australian War Memorial is in Canberra. It attracts many visitors, and the War Memorial team does a good job in programming and interpreting material.

I am not entirely comfortable with a motion that characterises the Australian War Memorial as a tourist enterprise and an economic generator, rather than a memorial and museum, which it fundamentally is. You could almost argue, if you followed that line of logic, that we could hope for more war and a bigger memorial to double our tourist business. I am not saying that is what Mr Smyth is aiming for with this motion. However, that is why the idea of a ticker tape parade for the War Memorial tourist award strikes me as a little odd.

MR SMYTH (9.07), in reply: Mr Speaker, in closing, this is certainly not any attempt to devalue the mission of the Australian War Memorial. They are recognised for success in their mission to educate the Australian public, and other visitors, to what has happened so that, hopefully, it will never happen again. Their great success is in portraying the human side, the actual cost and the real sacrifice.

Ms Tucker: Well that is not what the motion says.

MR SMYTH: But that is what they do, whether they be paid staff or volunteers. My motion is implicit that it is all staff. I did not see the need to discriminate in that way.

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