Page 805 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

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and got the point across. He was always helpful to me when I asked for his advice and opinion and he was extremely generous. I do not believe he had any partisan nature in terms of who he advised on water policy. There are some “Cullen-isms” which I think should be put on the record. On the importance of water accounting, he said:

Flying blind hasn’t worked and we must know how much water we have, where it is and how it is being used. We need to know the health of our waterways.

On managing water scarcity, he said:

Believing we could meet the water needs of these communities by fixing a few leaking taps and having shorter showers was always a fantasy.

On the Murray-Darling, he said:

We don’t have all the answers—nobody does—but before we start laying bricks and mortar, we have got to get the foundations right, otherwise the cathedral will tumble with the smallest of tremors.

And on climate change, he said:

We’re doing a wonderful experiment in global warming at the moment, but by the time it gets through peer review there might not be many humans left on the planet.

We need to realise that that is the kind of language that gets across to people. Let us hope that there are other scientists and other leaders who also learn that ability to put complex matters into very human language because that is how we communicate with people and get results.

Mr Peter Sinfield

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.25): Today I would like to speak in memory of Peter Sinfield, whose funeral I attended last Saturday at Norwood Park Crematorium. He was a man who was greatly admired in many community organisations of which he was an active member.

Peter was born on 28 February 1950 and spent his formative years in Melbourne, before joining the Navy at an early age and moving to Western Australia. Peter served on many ships and served Australia in the Vietnam conflict as well. Peter was posted to Canberra near the end of his naval career and found a town he loved, could settle down in and raise a family in. After their family grew up, Peter and Sylvia returned to their passion of motorcycling in 2003 and became valuable members of the motorcycling community in the ACT, with strong ties to the Ulysses Club and the MRA. I thank Robyn and Peter Major from the MRA for their assistance and hospitality on Saturday afternoon after Peter’s funeral.

Among many of Peter’s activities, he was also an active member of the genealogy society and the military history society. He made a great contribution to the HMAS Canberra memorial. Together, Peter and Sylvia were always there when you

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