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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 March 2015) . . Page.. 1076 ..

war. At its most extreme, families can experience the loss of a loved one, but just being the spouse or the child of a defence member comes with enormous challenges. Canberra is host to thousands of defence families. To those families, we salute you.

I put on the record that Mrs Jones is the wife of a serviceman. I recall that during the 2008 election her husband, Bernard, was serving overseas. A staff member in my office will see her husband deploy soon to Afghanistan.

The motion reads:

That this Assembly:

… commemorates the sacrifice of those Australians who have lost their lives or been wounded in war and express its support for the defence community in Canberra comprising ADF members, defence families, veterans and Ex Service Organisations.

In anticipation, I would like to thank all members for their support and again express our enduring respect for those who have served, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, for those who support them from the defence ex-service organisations, and for the families that support them.

Madam Speaker, I also thank the broader Canberra community. It is always inspiring when you go to an Anzac dawn ceremony and you see the many thousands of Canberrans there, often freezing cold, before dawn on Anzac Day, to commemorate the sacrifice of the Anzacs. It is also inspiring for those who march on Anzac Day to see so many people lining Anzac Parade and recognising the service of those who have deployed overseas on a variety of missions.

I hope today that what we are doing is upholding the fine tradition of Anzac Day in this community and Australia wide, and making it very well known that this Assembly will not forget, that we will remember them. Lest we forget.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.17): I certainly welcome the opportunity to speak about the importance of the Anzac centenary, how it is being commemorated here in Canberra and how the ACT government is supporting the defence community in the ACT. As the Leader of the Opposition indicated, it was indeed a great honour and privilege to participate in the Canberra welcome-home parade for about 2,100 men and women who served this country so bravely and stoically in Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper.

There were about 34½ thousand Australian personnel deployed to Afghanistan over the period of the operation from 2001 onwards and, of those, more than 750 who served as part of this campaign were born in Canberra. And there were many more from the region and also those who have obviously chosen to build their military careers here in Canberra. Forty-one of those 34½ thousand paid the ultimate price by their sacrifice. Just as those who sacrificed their lives on the beaches of Gallipoli, they will never be forgotten.

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