Page 1685 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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rich tapestry that this country now is. For Ellnor, Gabriella and her husband and Al’s and Ellnor’s grandson, Khedra, I wish that the source of peace bring them peace and comfort in the memory of Al.

MR PRATT (Brindabella): I think the anecdote about Al Grassby tailoring his British uniform is a wonderful anecdote of his colourful, flamboyant and rather amusing but concurrently serious approach to life and business. As a young political watcher I keenly followed the phenomenon that was Al Grassby in the early 1970s. I too, was in Wagga Wagga in those years and wondered how he was able to squirrel his way into the place and take such a strong political grip. I think that says volumes for his political astuteness.

Of course, Al’s political life was highly controversial—there is no stepping around that. The loss of his parliamentary seat was dramatic. We all know he had to work hard to put all that behind him, but he did so successfully. He got on with doing what he was good at—contributing to Australian multiculturalism.

There is no doubt that Al Grassby was a pioneering influence in the development of multiculturalism as a meaningful force in Australian society. By dint of his personality, as well as his strength of character, Al pushed multiculturalism along and was particularly successful in selling this new societal institution to the broader Australian community.

In more recent years Al continually played a role in multiculturalism here in the ACT. I had the pleasure, as the shadow multicultural minister, on many occasions to meet him and to discuss multicultural issues here peculiar to the ACT. He was always good for a chat.

I would like to pass on my warmest condolences to Ellnor and the family and to the ACT multicultural community and the friends within that network who were, of course, quite close to Al. On the basis of my portfolio and the issues that I have to deal with I wish Al, wherever he is now, and his family all the best.

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

MR SPEAKER: I thank members.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent:

(1) any business before the Assembly at 3 p.m. this day being interrupted to allow the Treasurer to be called on forthwith to present the Appropriation Bill 2005-2006 and the Rates Amendment Bill 2005;

(2) (a) questions without notice concluding at the time of interruption; or

(b) debate on any motion before the Assembly at the time of interruption being adjourned until the question—“That debate on the Appropriation Bill

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