Page 1078 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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I have also invited the crew of the recently commissioned HMAS Canberra III to exercise their right of freedom of entry to the city of Canberra later this year. I hope we will be able to work with the ship’s crew to find an appropriate time for this to occur. HMAS Canberra has a long history, and the crew of HMAS Canberra II last conducted a freedom of entry in Canberra in 2005 just prior to the decommissioning of the vessel. Freedom of entry is the highest honour a city can bestow upon a military unit and it will be wonderful to welcome the crew of the new vessel and to continue our long history together. The reception and freedom of entry are both suggestions of the ACT Veterans Advisory Council, and I will be pleased to host these events as commemorative activities for this centenary year.

In a few weeks, students from four ACT high schools will be heading off on an experience of a lifetime to the Gallipoli commemorations. This year’s winning students are Ms Angela Liao of Radford College, Ms Ineka Voigt of Canberra High School, Ms Jasmine Lyons of Trinity Christian School, and Mr John Dykstra of Campbell High School. They will participate in a series of commemorative activities organised by the Australian War Memorial. This will include visiting Istanbul, Troy and the Gallipoli Peninsula. The students will be able to gain valuable insights into the battlefields of the Gallipoli campaign. They will participate in the dawn service at Anzac Cove and lay a wreath on behalf of the ACT. These students will no doubt return to Canberra quite changed by this moving experience and be able to share some of their learnings and their experiences with their fellow students. The prize has been running for three years now and has contributed to ensuring that the legacy of the Anzacs lives on in future generations.

I am pleased to be able to share some of the commemorative activities and support the ACT government provides to veterans. The Australian Defence Force makes up an integral part of our relatively small community. Five per cent of our territory’s workforce is defence related, and given all the support the Australian Defence Force provides to the Canberra community and to the Australian people at large it is imperative that we support and look after these veterans who served this country with such commitment and such courage. I thank the Leader of the Opposition for bringing this motion forward today. I look forward to supporting it.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.25): I appreciate Mr Hanson’s bringing this motion forward today to provide us with an opportunity to reflect on Australia’s military history as we proceed towards the centenary year of Anzac. There is no doubt that those who sign up to go to war for their country deserve our respect. Those who lose their lives, or who are injured or suffer mental health issues as a result of war, deserve our care and our compassion. On behalf of the ACT Greens I wish to offer our condolences in the lead-up to this year’s Anzac Day commemorations to all those who have been affected by the impact of war, serving their country in our defence forces.

This year’s Anzac Day is somewhat of a special one, being the 100th anniversary of the battle that in many ways has come to define Australia’s military history, particularly in recent times, the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War at Gallipoli. Of course, the First

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