Page 1312 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013
planning that would provide more affordable housing for people who would be downsizing and support for people who would be living on superannuation or other fixed incomes.
He spoke about the skills shortage Canberra could face if it did not attract and retain skilled workers. His concern was not only for the business owners who would struggle to attract and keep staff but also for the difficulties that every Canberran would begin to face with necessities like getting cars serviced, getting a plumber in or finding a doctor or dentist. As Minister for Ageing and Minister for Housing, I am very thankful for his work in this area and for the tenacity with which Dr Peters pursued this issue.
The silver lining project, a chamber of commerce initiative in conjunction with the ACT government and the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, is a legacy that I have the honour of carrying. It encourages mature aged, skilled people to remain in the workforce beyond the traditional retirement age, curbing the rate that skills are lost and allowing for better skill transfer between generations.
In all that he did, Dr Peters was dedicated, ardent and dignified. At times he made headlines by speaking with passion, and in fact he and I had a robust public exchange over climate change in 2011. I believe our public debate did much to uncover the issues around climate change and get Canberrans thinking about their response to this important global issue, as all good, respectful debates should do.
Mr Peters’s list of honours and achievements is, of course, long and impressive and includes commendation from the King of Spain through the Cross of the Order of Isabel la Catolica and the title of the 2012 Canberra Citizen of the Year.
He was affectionately known around Canberra as the man with a business card as long as your arm, and his community interests and causes were many and varied. Dr Peters was still fighting and advocating for Canberra and Canberrans, even as his health declined.
No-one would doubt his love for this city, nor the difference he made to its character and vibrancy. I join with the Peters family and the people across and beyond Australia in mourning the loss of this proud Canberran.
MS PORTER (Ginninderra): I would like to join others in this place—and I cannot speak as eloquently as others have about Dr Chris Peters and his contribution to this place, but my husband and I have known Dr Peters and his wife Jo for many years—and express my condolences to Jo and their family and their friends.
As the Chief Minister has said, Dr Peters was a passionate believer in Canberra and its potential and always threw his energies behind that belief right up until his untimely death. Even when obviously gravely ill, he continued to care about others, care about his responsibilities and care about our city.
The Chief Minister has already mentioned his strong leadership and invaluable work post the 2003 fires. I was at that time the CEO of Volunteering ACT, which played a