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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3603 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

she has let down their families. Even a 12-year-old child would have difficulty in lining up Ms Tucker's comparison.

When I last checked, Messrs Howard, Bush and Blair had not planned and executed deliberate attacks on massive numbers of unarmed civilians. The problem with these sorts of comments and those of Ms Tucker's fruitloop comrades, Brown and Nettle, is that they are deliberately and dramatically misrepresentative. In fact, they reflect the worst excesses of chip-on-the-shoulder, divisive, wedge politics. They damage the country with this sort of rubbish. Whether or not Ms Tucker understands that these comments provide some sort of encouragement and comfort to those who would seek to attack our country is beyond me-I am unsure whether she is on track at all.

She is entitled to say whatever she likes. That is our freedom of speech. But she is also responsible to speak wisely and respectfully. Ms Tucker has clearly no idea of these essential principles. I would like to see Ms Tucker apologise in this place to the citizens of the ACT for those sorts of comments.

Australia Day festival in the park

Statement by Ms Tucker

MR STEFANIAK (9.26): Mr Speaker, I rise to recommend to the government that it should, if it has not done so already-but I believe it has not-fund a very good event in Canberra, which has been funded in the past for many years, and that is the Australia Day festival in the park. I understand the festival needed $50,000 this year to continue its excellent work. The festival is getting very concerned that that assistance-or any assistance from the government-has not been forthcoming. I briefly mentioned the matter on the stairs to the Chief Minister, who said he would mention it to Mr Wood. I am not quite sure who-

Mr Wood: I take it they've made an application.

MR STEFANIAK: I understand they certainly have done that. Indeed, Mrs Turbayne from the organisation has actually spoken to members of the department and could well have spoken to members of your government as well, Mr Wood. But they will not be able to produce the excellent Australia Day in the park we have all become accustomed to if they do not receive some assistance. I think the money they received last year was about $45,000. I recall in the past they have probably received more than that. They do a lot for themselves. They get a lot of assistance from the Licensed Clubs Association of the ACT.

All of us here, I think-with the possible exception of some of the new members, but I think virtually all of us-have been to Australia Day in the park in recent years. It is truly a wonderful family day, an excellent celebration of this nation. There are some wonderful events there, ranging from the citizenship ceremonies through to the fireworks displays at night. I would strongly urge the government to ensure that this is supported.

Mr Wood: Well, we have processes now, Mr Stefaniak.

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