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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Page: 401


Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (11:44): On indulgence, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Veness. He was a young, courageous and good man who at 27 years of age departed far too early from this earth. I got to know Peter as a journalist for the Australian Associated Press, the AAP, when I first came to the parliament in late 2010 and he was working in the Canberra press gallery. He always struck me as having a nice sense of humour, an ear and an eye for a good story, and a professional and dedicated commitment to his journalistic craft. Even as he battled against a rare form of brain cancer, which was diagnosed in 2009, Peter remained stoic and positive and true to his larrikin streak. In his own words, 'Live a life of no regrets. Don't die wondering.'

In a poignant article in 2009 Peter wrote:

Even when life is consumed by thoughts of death, of leaving my most loved, of lying in a coffin, of being lowered six feet, there are ways of smiling. Old, silly jokes still bring a smile to my face and the sight of just about any dog makes me joyous from a childhood spent spilling all my secrets to my loyal blue heeler, Bert.

There is one final wish I haven't mentioned. To live. I pray at night, asking my God the seeming simplest of questions: 'Will you save me?' I haven't heard back yet.

God did not answer that call in the way we would have liked, and so, Peter Veness will be deeply missed by his colleagues in the press gallery, his admirers in the parliament and his loyal friends and treasured family.

My condolences go out to his wife, Bec, and his parents, David and Cheryl, at this very difficult time. Rest assured you are in our thoughts and prayers as we remember the life and contribution of a good and decent man, Peter Veness. Peter, may you rest in peace.