Page 5063 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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It is a step forward for the nation. I think yesterday was a very good way of bringing, for a number of people, closure for something that has hung over their lives. You only need to read the various stories that have been told in the last couple of weeks to see the impact. I hope that yesterday was cathartic for us as a nation; I hope it was a real closure for those that were the victims of these events; I hope that from this point they can move on in their lives with great joy in their lives and leave the past behind. I commend the Chief Minister for bringing forward the motion.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (10.33): I would like to add my words to those that have just been said in this place this morning. I would like to recognise the experience of those that have become known as the forgotten Australians and the former child migrants that the Prime Minister and the Australian government and this Assembly have extended apologies to this week and today. This is, indeed, a significant event in the life of this nation, as others have said before me. As we listen to the stories of these children and their often dreadful experiences, we say we are sorry. However, can we ever understand their pain, the pain of separation, the pain of not knowing who loved them, or if anyone loved them, the pain of not knowing where they belonged and who would support them? Many speakers have spoken of the scars that will, of course, last for the whole of their lives.

As a child, I arrived with my family in Australia, and when I landed on Australian shores I had my mother and my father and my sister with me, by choice. It was still, though, hard to leave members of my extended family. How much harder would it have been to leave alone to an uncertain future, separated, it would seem to them, I am sure, from their past? I would just like to commend this motion to the Assembly and add my recognition to the importance of saying sorry.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 15

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)—Scrutiny Report 15, dated 16 November 2009, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: Scrutiny report 15 contains the committee’s comments on 25 pieces of subordinate legislation, one government response and one regulatory impact statement. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Duties Amendment Bill 2009 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 15 October 2009, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

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