Page 1311 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Order of Australia for his contribution to business in the ACT. Those lucky enough to have met and known Chris will always remember his quick wit, his ready smile and his generosity of spirit. Chris was in every sense a true servant of the people of Canberra, an unflinching advocate for Canberra’s business community. Our city has lost a champion, a hardworking and generous supporter of many of Canberra’s community interests, a decent and honourable man.
Madam Speaker, I wish to join with the other members of the Legislative Assembly in offering Dr Chris Peters’ family and friends my most sincere condolences, in particular his wife Jo who joins us here in the Assembly today.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing): Today I join with my colleagues in celebrating the life and achievements of one of our city’s greatest business leaders and community advocates, Dr Chris Peters. To begin, I would like to pass my sincere and deep condolences to the Peters family on behalf of the ACT Greens. At this difficult time, I hope that your family takes some comfort from the many messages received from those who join you in grieving a great loss, while celebrating a great legacy.
Dr Chris Peters was a proud and passionate Canberran and one of our city’s most successful advocates. He truly saw Canberra and Canberrans as the heart of the nation. And he was of course well known and highly regarded as the heart of the business community in Canberra.
Dr Peters had a gift for bringing together business and community leaders and a tenacity for nurturing and encouraging small to medium businesses. He gave many people the confidence to follow and achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship and community growth in a town that boasts a distinct lack of big business and offers safety in public service employment.
Dr Peters spoke often, and convincingly, about the opportunities for people to make a real difference in Canberra by getting involved across the broader community. He linked people with, and in need of, skills and resources, and in doing so was instrumental in building the philanthropic culture we enjoy and benefit from today.
Dr Peters was a master of rallying business and the wider community to get behind worthy causes and play a part in improving the lives of vulnerable groups. Working alongside Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services, he was able to help remove landlords’ concerns so that refugees could access the rental market and set up a home in our city. This not only gave people a positive start to their new lives in Canberra but helped to break down discrimination against refugee families.
Importantly, Dr Peters was a pioneer in identifying the need for us to plan carefully for a Canberra which is ageing and ageing faster than the rest of Australia due to the influx of public servants who moved to Canberra in the 1970s and are now approaching or beyond the retirement age. Dr Peters spoke passionately about the skills and housing shortages that could and would result if no action was taken to combat the effects of ageing across this city. He saw a need for good urban and social