Page 1125 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 16 March 2005

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Then, another cause is the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, with 100 couples at $3,000 each, taking in $300,000. Again, why are they praising her for doing all this, helping to preserve life? The Mental Health Foundation—mental health is a major issue in this country and Princess Mary is patron of a similar organisation in Denmark—raised almost $100,000 in Sydney, with 550 guests paying $175 a head. Even in Hobart, when she went back to see her family, she participated in and supported a benefit for the Save the Children Fund.

Mr Speaker and members, this tour has not been about glamour or about the republican debate or about imposing some different culture on Australians. It is about demonstrating basic civility and courtesy to an international visitor and appreciating the phenomenal effort and contributions she has made to so many charitable causes. Her personal bond with Australia will always remain, as she was born and raised in this country and this is the country where her family continues to reside.

The fascination of Canberrans and Australians alike is, I think, best expressed by Australian Association Press, which described her as “a living, breathing Aussie princess and that’s all that matters to a besotted egalitarian land in love with the fact that a Tassie girl can click with a bloke in a pub and suddenly become royalty”. She not only helped to raise considerable funds—

Mr Hargreaves: She still cannot become president of this country.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Hargreaves is dismissive of my comments, but I think that the organisations and the people they support will appreciate what she did and the funds she raised, because they will go to much-needed medical research. She has been received by large crowds of children, adults, indeed politicians in many cases and the media in a demonstration of the importance of her royal position in these charitable, fund-raising activities.

The visit also served to promote Australia and the ACT. It has had a tourism benefit and a community benefit, and that is something of which we can all be proud. But the Chief Minister, whose aspirations are now reflected by a command performance—I thought a command performance was a vice-regal activity, but it is one that we now have in our territory presided over by our republican-minded Chief Minister, Prince Jon—failed to give Princess Mary the very serious respect that I think was appropriate on this occasion. I, as a member of this Assembly, am embarrassed that we have treated someone publicly in this fashion and turned the visit into a media spectacle.

I think that Danish representatives in this city would be suitably offended by the sentiments espoused by the Chief Minister. I know that I speak on behalf of members of the opposition when I say that we certainly do not endorse the Chief Minister’s remarks last Saturday night on television.

Charnwood community festival

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.16): Members will recall that I have mentioned the Charnwood carnival previously in this place. Some now refer to it as the “Charny Carny”. This community festival took place last Saturday afternoon on the

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