Page 3963 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Terrorist attacks—Paris, Beirut and Ankara

Statements by members

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) : I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the recent attacks in Paris, Beirut and Ankara.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: I thank Assembly members for granting leave this morning. I rise this morning to express horror at the series of recent attacks, deep sadness at the loss of innocent lives, and to convey sympathy to the families and friends of those who are in mourning. I am sure I speak on behalf of the entire Assembly, the entire ACT government and the people of Canberra when I say that our thoughts are with the French, Lebanese and Turkish people as they grieve for the loss of innocent lives from these senseless acts of horrific violence.

Over the weekend our thoughts have gone out to the French community in Canberra and those Canberrans with loved ones in France. I hope they can all take comfort from the knowledge that all Canberrans and all Australians are thinking of them at this difficult time.

As members would be aware, as a gesture of solidarity and to pledge our support to the people of France, on Saturday night Canberra joined cities around Australia and the world in lighting up city monuments in the colours of the French flag. Canberra’s Kings Avenue overpass, Telstra Tower and the National Carillon were all lit up with the blue, white and red of the French flag. I take this opportunity to thank the National Capital Authority for promptly accommodating our request after the shocking news broke early on Saturday morning Canberra time. Parliament House was also lit up on Sunday night. Through this symbolic gesture, we joined with the world to demonstrate that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of France.

I also take this opportunity to inform members that I have written to the Ambassador of France in Australia, on behalf of the ACT government and the Canberra community, to express our heartfelt sympathy to the people of France.

It is also important that we acknowledge the attacks that took place in Beirut, Lebanon, late on Thursday, 12 November, just one day before the attacks in Paris. These have been described as the worst of their kind in Beirut since the civil war ended in 1990. We express our deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon and also to the local Lebanese community here in Canberra, who may have had friends who were injured or who may have lost loved ones.

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