Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 May 2015) . . Page.. 1576 ..
Australian government, which has been one of the more substantial government donors. Many NGOs were already working on the ground in Nepal; so they had organising structures in place and employed Nepalese people. This left them in a good position to mobilise and respond. Countries have delivered essential equipment, food and medical assistance, and personnel such as doctors, nurses and engineers.
I understand, and Mr Hanson touched on this, that Australia again has provided significant support, with the provision of two RAAF aircraft to evacuate people and also to deliver necessary supplies, which have been distributed by helicopter in remote areas. Of course, the Canberra community have dipped into their pockets to raise money to help, just as people around the world have. I welcome the donation by the ACT government. This money will contribute towards helping to rebuild Nepal and to support those who need it.
I also attended the vigil in Canberra for victims of the earthquake. It was a very moving occasion. There were several hundred people in attendance, coming together both to grieve but also to support each other. I would like to say thank you to Glenn White, the Australian Ambassador to Nepal. He sent me an email this week in which he said:
Australians are not strangers to Nepal, with many thousands each year visiting to enjoy not just the scenic beauty of the varied landscapes, but also the warmth and friendliness of Nepal’s people. They have a special place in many Australian hearts, and I have been inspired by the number of Australian groups seeking to give something back to the communities they have been touched by.
This condolence motion is a small tribute to pay to the people of Nepal at this very difficult time but I do hope that it communicates our caring and our pain at the losses that the Nepalese people have suffered. I hope it communicates to the Nepalese community here in Canberra that we are thinking of them and that we want to support them through what is a time of great grief for them, their families and their community.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality): Before I start I would like to formally acknowledge and welcome Nepal’s Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Rudra Kumar Nepal, and the representatives of the Nepalese community and other community organisations that have come to the Assembly today. Thank you very much for coming along.
I rise to join the Chief Minister and others in supporting this motion of condolence in the wake of the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April. It is a natural disaster which has killed more than 7,000 people and seriously injured more than 14,000 people. The earthquake destroyed significant parts of Nepal’s vital infrastructure, its cultural heritage and the homes of many thousands of its people. Its impact will be felt upon the livelihoods, security and prosperity of Nepal and its people for many years to come. Beyond the borders of Nepal, the impact has been felt by Nepalese communities all over the world, including here in Australia and our city, Canberra.