Page 817 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2006

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the settlers of New Italy. It was with considerable pride that I took my younger children to New Italy the other day to visit the memorial, the museum and the extended museum. There are two museums there. One marks the settlement by the New Italy settlers, but several other waves of Italian settlers came to that area and enriched the whole community of northern New South Wales.

In the 1920s, there was a great wave of Italian immigrants who came to that area fleeing persecution by the fascist regime. My father, who was a young boy at the time, recalls one of those fellows, a fellow by the name of Angelo Galardi, saying to my father, who was always called “Cobber”, “Cobber, I will go back to Italy when there is a bridge of sausage between Australia and Italy.”

He was a fiercely proud Australian. I suppose it is a matter of some disgrace that people like Angelo Galardi and his compatriots were interned during the Second World War in appalling conditions in Pentridge jail, but they did not lose their enthusiasm for Australia.

After the Second World War, there was yet another wave of Italian immigrants to the area, coming often to join their families. Often they were, in fact, people who had been prisoners of war and who had been treated much better than Italian internees. They worked on farms in the area and, after they were repatriated back to Italy, they eventually decided to return to Australia because it was a better country. So I take the time today in the adjournment debate to make these points about Italian immigration in northern New South Wales.

It is a long history and it is a proud history. It is part of my history. I was particularly proud to take my children the other day to learn of their history and I hope that I will be able to find the time to make the journey back to New Italy on 9 April. I was there on 9 April 1961 when the memorial that I described was unveiled. I would like to be there, and will try to make the effort to be there and to take some of my children with me. I hope that the cooperation between Australia and Italy and the Australian and Italian communities in the area will continue for the further enrichment of the region and the country in general.

Community fire units—training

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.14): I would like to use this time this evening to reflect on the training of community fire units and to report on my involvement with the ones in my electorate. They have been training recently in the application of fire retardant foam through compressed foam tankers. These tankers come in three sizes. The large double tankers hold 8,000 litres, the medium size ones hold 2,000 litres, and the quite small transportable tanks can be carried on the back of other vehicles.

The compressed foam increases the capacity of the tankers as the coverage is multiplied by the ratio of the retardant to the water. It is mostly applied in a 1:4 ratio, but can be pushed up to 1:7. One can understand from that that the tanker does not need to be refilled with water so frequently, but that can be achieved very quickly with these tankers. Also, the foam consistency can be varied to suit the different conditions of the threat at the time.

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