Page 356 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005
Christian. Christian always seemed to me to be very full of life, a person full of fun. Christian was a professional photographer but had also worked as a chef while travelling and for a while had worked as a model. One year Christian was named “Dolly Man of the Year” and I remember the title on the front cover of the Dolly magazine when it announced “Who’s HOT? Christian Nott!”
While I did not know Moi, she sounds like she was a wonderful person. I understand that Moi had worked as a television producer at both Channel 10 and XYZ Productions. I know that last October the Vogel and Nott families were overjoyed to attend Moi and Christian’s wedding. Looking at the photos of Christian and Moi on their wedding day, all I see is a very beautiful and happy young couple full of love for each other. I think that is the fitting tribute that we should remember them by. I finally say to Fiona, Richard and Moi’s family, and everyone else who was affected by this terrible tragedy, may the source of peace send peace to you all and comfort all who are bereaved.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): I too lend my support to the motion put forward by the Chief Minister. On an occasion such as this it is worth reflecting on the massive scale of this tragedy. As Mr Stefaniak pointed out, there has probably been nothing in our lives on this scale. Already estimates are of over 280,000 killed, amongst whom 19 Australians are confirmed as deceased with the status of eight more still to be confirmed. In Indonesia, which bore the brunt of this event, more than 220,000 are officially confirmed dead, but the official death toll is still expected to rise. More than 30,000 are dead in Sri Lanka, thousands in India, Thailand and the Maldives and many victims in Malaysia, Burma and other areas. It has been estimated that 1.5 million people were displaced around the region.
I suppose it is always possible to be critical that more could be done, that aid efforts are not appropriate or correctly structured, but it is fair to say that the territory, state and Australian governments and individual citizens have presented a rapid and effective response at all levels. Our citizens and businesses have pledged some $235 million to relief agencies with many others collaborating on concerts and sporting events—often through community groups. Over $2 million in goods has been donated by commercial entities and corporations. Besides these cash contributions, as was mentioned by the Chief Minister, there have been many offers of technical and volunteer support in different areas. Teachers have been sent to the Maldives for the new school year, engineers have been sent and further volunteers are working with Australia’s aid program in Banda Aceh.
The government’s response at an Australia-wide level was also to rapidly deploy consulate and defence personnel generally and police and other staff. We heard of those that left from Canberra. This is, without doubt, our biggest ever aid effort to assist, particularly, our neighbour to the north, Indonesia. In this town some 300 from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were assisting. I understand that about 150 came back from leave to assist at the time. Many of those were working here in Canberra and around about 40 others were sent on to Thailand to establish temporary consular offices and to liase with local authorities.
Crisis management and emergency hotline services were also set up as part of Australia’s efforts to coordinate a response. Much of this focused as a first priority on the whereabouts and safety of thousands of Australians, ensuring victims receive emergency