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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1300

Senator HUME (Victoria) (20:51): It is with great sadness that I reflect on the horrific tragedy that occurred on Bourke Street in the Melbourne CBD on 20 January this year. The despicable, unspeakable actions of one man that day claimed the lives of many Victorians and indeed injured many more. One man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians who were innocent bystanders to his acts of selfish, senseless aggression and violence. Many of the victims of this tragedy were on their lunch break, travelling between meetings, running errands, looking after their children or were children themselves.

The appalling events of that day showed us all the very best of the Australian spirit. Good Samaritans like taxidriver Lou Bougias rushed to the aid of the injured and spoke softly and reassuringly to those in shock and in pain until the emergency services could arrive. I commend the actions of Mr Bougias and all of those who helped that day. I thank them sincerely for their service to our state in a time of great darkness.

The bill before the chamber tonight is this parliament's opportunity to pay its respects to the victims of the Bourke Street tragedy and to acknowledge the generosity of so many Victorians who have given what they can in a time of their collective grief. I stand tonight amongst all my Victorian colleagues in this chamber. We have different political views and come from different backgrounds but on this issue we are Victorians first and foremost. Like all Victorians, our hearts are broken but our resolve is strengthened. On behalf of senators Fifield, Ryan, Paterson and McKenzie, on behalf of senators Carr, Collins, Marshall and Kitching, on behalf of senators Di Natale, Rice and Hinch and on my own behalf, I am extraordinarily proud to stand in this chamber this evening and to commend the Treasury Laws Amendment (Bourke Street Fund) Bill 2017 to the Senate.