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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21585


Mr ANTHONY (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) (11:41 AM) —It is now 12 months since the atrocity in Bali, which claimed the lives of 88 Australians, including three with close ties to my electorate. I want to talk about two: Billy Hardy, who was a promising Australian Rules footballer with the Southport Sharks; and Jodie Wallace, whose father, Barry, lives in the electorate at Byron Bay. Like so many victims on that night, they were two popular and fun-loving young people who were cut down in the prime of their lives by a senseless and barbaric act. Billy and Jodie's only crime was to be out on the town having a good time. In the space of a few horrifying moments, their lives were lost and those of their family and friends shattered.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster ride for the mother of Billy, Christine Hardy. She has seen the highs of the success of her daughter, Jessica, in Big Brother 2, and was then cut down to the depths of despair with the loss of Billy. I am sure for Barry Wallace it has been pretty much the same. I was interested to read in the local newspaper on Monday morning about Barry talking about the commemorative service in Bali, saying that it helped ease his pain. `Sometimes grief gets easier if you share it,' he said.

The scenes from Bali on Sunday and also from other commemorative services, including the day hosted by Billy's mates at the Southport Sharks, were extremely moving. In Bali the emotions were obviously raw but there appeared to be a great desire to honour those who died and to remember the good things about their lives. Many people spoke of the desire to move forward, including one victim who said that he had been given a second chance at life and vowed to run with it with all his might. By doing this, these people will be able to remain true to their united vow—that is, that terrorism will never win. The terrorists may have broken hearts but not the spirits of the Australian people and these people in particular.

At the Southport Sharks home ground on Sunday, people formed a human Australian flag as part of a celebration of those who went to Bali but did not make it home alive. Even watching the event on the television news, one could not help but be moved, particularly with the courage shown by Billy's sister, Jess, in standing up on a stage and singing in memory of her brother. To my mind, each of these family members—of those who were in the clubs and made it home, as well as of those who died—deserve to wear the tag of `hero'. While we grieve for the Australians who lost their lives, let us also not forget the more than 100 people from other nationalities and the Balinese people who either died or had their lives turned totally upside down. Many of the Balinese have seen their livelihoods destroyed in the wake of the bombing or have lost their breadwinner in a country where there is no form of welfare.

In May this year I was in Bali and had the opportunity to talk with many Balinese, including the orphans, who lost their parents, about their plans and hopes in the aftermath of the bombing and also to lay a wreath in honour of all those who lost their lives. It was personally very moving and something I will never forget. In our time of mourning I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the Australian Federal Police and the Indonesian authorities who worked so hard to bring those behind this atrocity to justice swiftly and professionally, not to mention all those people who assisted victims on the night and in the weeks that followed. Terrorism will never find a friend in our country, and unfortunately the threat of another terrorist attack remains while there are people who prefer detonation to diplomacy. As I said in this place just 12 months ago, Australia must continue to take up the cudgels in the fight against terrorism and those countries that support terrorism. We must also remain ever vigilant in securing our internal security and security for our nationals abroad.