Page 1309 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013

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He was also a member of the Earth Hour steering committee since its inception and deputy chairman of the ACT Electric Vehicle Council. He was a lover of the fine arts and a strong and vocal advocate for the ANU School of Music, having been a School of Music foundation board member for many years. Concerned about the possible loss of the school, he once remarked, “I think anyone from outside Canberra probably wouldn’t understand how passionate Canberra feels about its music.”

There was a side to Chris that could be single-minded, forceful, blunt and uncompromising. He was renowned as a tough but fair negotiator. But there was another side to him that was characterised by his sensitivity, his kindness, a sense of humour, compassion, diplomacy and generosity of spirit.

For those of us who were privileged enough to receive his “my health” updates, which were always numbered, they gave an incredible insight into the generosity of a man who even in his most private moments was able to see the good and compliment it, and when things could be improved, suggest ways to do that.

He was a philanthropic man, whose contribution to numerous local charities over many years was enormous. He was admired for his altruism, and as someone who had difficulty in saying no to those seeking his advice and assistance. He was a founding member and driving force behind GreaterGood, Canberra’s public charitable foundation, which has provided over $2 million for local causes since it was established. He was also heavily involved in the Salvation Army’s annual Red Shield Appeal.

The outpouring of admiration and genuine affection shown by the community’s response to Chris’s passing is reserved for special people, and Chris was special. He was a loving husband to Jo, a friend to many, a great Canberran and a man of great character.

Chris once said, “What’s fabulous about Canberra is that we are small enough that we can make things happen, but we are large enough to make it worthwhile happening.” He was a man that did make worthwhile things happen, who will be forever remembered as a champion for business, a truly generous man, and a giant of the Canberra community, a man who made a real difference. He leaves behind a legacy of achievement that will be difficult to match, and he will be very sorely missed.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): I thank the Chief Minister for bringing this important motion before the Assembly today. Today’s condolence motion is just a small gesture in celebrating the life of Dr Christopher Peters AM OI JP, a man who made a sustained wide-reaching contribution to the Canberra community.

I rise to speak today in my capacity as opposition leader and to pay my personal respects as well to another leader of our community, a leader whose work will be significantly missed. I know that all of my colleagues share my sentiments today. In particular, I acknowledge the particular professional and personal loss strongly felt by my Assembly colleague Mr Brendan Smyth. Brendan knew Chris for many years and worked with him in both government and opposition as a colleague and as a friend.

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