Page 110 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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that time there have been a range of festivities and activities in the place. It is now the home of the Campagna Association’s statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. Previously she did not have a proper home and she is now housed in a chapel there. The Chief Minister and I on a number of occasions have participated in celebrations of that commemoration.

There have always been a number of activities there and one of the great events was the unveiling of the statue of Dante Alighieri, the great poet and father of the Italian language. This statue was sculpted by an Italian sculptor with a gift of stone from the region around Lecce. There was great cooperation between Canberra and Lecce. The unveiling was undertaken by His Excellency Stefano Starace Janfolla, the Italian Ambassador, who is a strong supporter of the centre. The bust was also blessed by His Grace Archbishop Coleridge. There were a number of cultural events as part of this event, including a keynote speech about the importance and contribution of Dante to Italian life. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, my Italian, while workmanlike and serviceable, does not these days stretch to such high notes but from what I could gather it was a very erudite speech.

One of the other things we think about in summer time is that long summer of cricket. This year we have had a fairly mixed summer of cricket. There have been a lot of washed-out games and some less than favourable coverage of some of the cricket that has gone on, with allegations of abuse, a fair amount of sledging and a lot of commentary in the papers about unsportsmanlike behaviour—people not walking when out and standing their ground. It is one of those things that I am in two minds about. We hold up cricketers and sportsmen as role models for our children and then sometimes they do not live up to our expectations. I encouraged my children to play cricket, my sons in particular, and they have always been taught that when you are out, you walk and you do not make a fuss about it.

It was interesting to see an article in the Age recently by a commentator who likened modern-day cricketers to the Invincibles of 1948. The author said that the modern-day Australian cricket team was, in fact, better than the Invincibles. He presented a whole lot of statistics to demonstrate that Steve Waugh was a better captain than Don Bradman, that Adam Gilchrist was a better wicket keeper than the wicket keeper of the Invincibles and that, in fact, the Invincibles did not have a decent spin bowler like the great Warne.

But there is more to cricket than batting and bowling and taking wickets behind the stumps. There is much more to it; there is sportsmanship. I think that whilst Australian cricketers today are pre-eminent professional sportsmen, they will never live up to the model of gentlemanly behaviour and good sportsmanship that we saw from the 1948 Invincibles.

Canberra International Music Festival

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.23): On 31 January this year, on behalf of the Chief Minister, the Minister for the Arts, I attended the launch of another upcoming festival that the ACT government is supporting. The festival I speak of is the Canberra International Music Festival, which will run from 7 to 18 May and will bring us several days of musical performances from around the world.

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