Page 378 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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action, and that he should because it was an unprovoked and very nasty incident. But I think JD was more concerned that the person involved had grown up playing rugby against his son—they had been in junior rep sides together—and he was upset and probably a little bit hurt that it had happened rather than wanting to seek some sort of vengeance. I am not sure what happened as a result of that but, thankfully, the injury was not by any means permanent. I walked away thinking what a thoroughly decent human being this JD was whom I had just started to get to know after the then six months or so that I had been appearing in front of him.

As I said, JD was a great ornament to the Royal Australian Air Force and in fact he received his AM, and of course his RFD, for his service to the Royal Australian Air Force. At JD’s funeral, Air Marshall Evans eloquently stated just how he would often ring up JD for advice on air force matters, such was the respect he had for him.

JD was a great raconteur. His life was not all work—there was a lot of play outside of working hours—and he had a wonderful twinkle in his eye and a great smile. He could tell a great story, he could mimic people and he was often very much the life of the party. I do not think he ever got to ride his Harley motorbike around Australia as he had wanted to do when he sought retirement. Bette would not have let him, apart from anything else.

He fought a long and, until the end, largely successful battle against cancer, but finally, unfortunately, he succumbed to that dreadful disease. He was, as I said earlier, a great rugby man. He contributed greatly to the Daramalan Rugby Club in particular, which his sons played for with distinction, and also served on the ACT rugby union judiciary for many years. Farewell, John Dainer—farewell, JD—may you rest in peace, and thank you for all you have done for the ACT and the people of Australia. Lest we forget.

Question resolved in the affirmative, members standing in their places.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mr Corbell (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) for this sitting.

Motion (by Mrs Dunne) agreed to:

That leave of absence be given to Mr Pratt for this sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs): Mr Speaker, for the information of members: my colleague Simon Corbell, Minister for Health and Minister for Planning, is not available for question time today. I am more than happy to take questions that might have been directed to Mr Corbell and would seek to assist in whatever way I can.

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