Page 5007 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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I contend that anyone reading the Hansard or listening to what I said would know that I simply indicated to Mr Stanhope that the mission of the sisters extended beyond their mission, which is to care for the dying. If you refer to their website, you will see an explanation of the good works of the Little Company of Mary, which originated from Mary Potter in 1850. They have done good works for so many decades in the UK, where they formed, and here in Australia. They have performed a wonderful mission across Australia. Unfortunately, the reports of my “attack on the Catholic Church” have been reported in the media because it had been spun that way, and I just want to clarify that issue.

Moving on, yesterday was Remembrance Day, and I congratulate Mr Seselja on his great speech in honour of our veterans. I would just like to pay homage to a particular veteran, a fellow called Merv Armstrong. As many of you know, I have a bit of a sore back. Merv is 87 and a veteran of World War II, and last Friday we were selling poppies. He has been doing that for close to 40 years. As I was there feeling a bit sore after eight or nine hours of this, Merv was still going strong. He had been doing it all day every day for about six days. He is quite a remarkable individual, and it was a great honour to do that with him. From the way that Merv was going, I am sure he has many years left in which he will be selling poppies to the people of Canberra.

I would like to turn now to the Heart Foundation anniversary dinner that was conducted on Saturday night at Manuka Oval. I congratulate the CEO, the president and all those who were involved in coordinating that night. Indeed, the main organiser of that evening was Ms Erin Blake, who is actually Minister Corbell’s partner. She has done some wonderful work for the Heart Foundation. She organised a wonderful night, and she has organised a number of functions previously, one on my behalf here at the Assembly in my role as a Heart Foundation ambassador. It is a very important charity, and it was great to see so many people supporting it that night. A lot of money was raised, and it was great to see the generosity of Canberrans putting their money where their mouths are to support such a wonderful cause.

Mrs Valerie Campbell

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.57): Today I would like to recognise the important contribution made by grassroots members of the Liberal Party, and one, in particular, who has reached a milestone in showing deep commitment and exceptional dedication. I am hopeful that this individual will be able to be with us at some point in the next few minutes. For all parties, the individual members are a vital element of the structure of representative democracy. They are the foundation upon which the party platform is built. It is they who give of their time, their energy and their ideas to form the structure of the party and set the standards we pursue.

I am particularly impressed by those members who stand firm in their commitment and who stand by their party and their beliefs through thick and thin. Today I would like to pay special tribute to one such member of our own party who has stood loyal and steadfast and who this year has reached a truly remarkable milestone. The party member I refer to is Valerie Campbell, who celebrates 60 years as a Liberal Party member this year. This extraordinary commitment shows truly exceptional dedication,

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