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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 59 ..

MS DUNDAS (10.49): On behalf of the ACT Democrats, I rise to offer our condolences and sympathy for those who suffered in this disaster that has struck Canberra to its core. The firestorm in January took the lives of four people in our community, and that means that there are four families grieving, many more friends and colleagues mourning the losses, and a community touched by what has happened in our town.

These lives have been cut short, and we are touched by their stories-of a gardener, of a spiritual woman, of a footballer, of members of small communities who are no longer with us. While in times like these we often feel powerless and words will never bring members of our community back, we have all been touched by their stories.

Today we share grief and hopefully we can move forward, recognising the great things that they have done and the great things we need to do in the future.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, today marks the fourth week after the horror of bushfires in our fair city. That Saturday afternoon left this city a different place. As we make our way through our daily routine, no matter where we go the scorched and blackened land that was once so green and lush remains a constant reminder of that terrible day. And so it is for the relatives and friends of the four who perished trying to save their homes. We can only imagine the pain, the anguish and the grief that they must be feeling.

The four who died were fellow Canberrans. Most of us never met them but they were our neighbours who lived in and loved this city, as we all do. The day before the fires they went to work, they visited friends, they talked with their families and they worried about how they were going to pay the next bill. They were looking forward to the weekend. They were everyday people who were going about their everyday business. We can never know what their lives held but we can be sure that their passing is something that all Canberrans will mourn as we remember this years bushfires. May they rest in peace. I support this motion of condolence moved by the Chief Minister.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming): I would like to join in expressing sympathies for the families of the four people who lost their lives and who, as others have already said, were part of a change to Canberra that we will feel for many years.

I have lived in Weston Creek for the best part of 30 years and I have a sense of that change, particularly across Weston Creek. I knew one of the victims, Doug Fraser, very well. Doug was a long-term contributor to the Weston Creek Football Club, the Wildcats. He was somebody who stuck with the club through some generations of change. He continued to work for the club and continued to carry on the spirit, tradition and love of the club and of the players and the people associated with it.

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