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Thursday, 25 June 1998
Page: 5422


Mr BEAZLEY (2:01 PM) —On indulgence, I thank the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) for his remarks and agree with him completely. It is a terrible irony that, having come from one weather induced crisis to a second, they should again have to go through the terrible cost to them in their personal lives in the way in which they have. These occasions also remind us, I think, of the extraordinary reliance we all have as a people, because of our very difficult natural conditions around the country, on emergency workers and on the various emergency services both official and unofficial and the volunteers who serve within them. Though this occasion has not been, as far as I can see, life threatening to any of the emergency workers, many of them are, and we owe them a very great deal.

The thoughts of the opposition go to those folk who have experienced great personal hardship and sorrow due to the consequences of that flooding. We wish them all the best. Our condolences, too, go to their parliamentary representatives. As is always the case when these issues arise, one of the values of the system of representative government that we have is that parliamentary representatives, whatever their political hue, are always there to look after the needs and concerns of their constituents and, ultimately, bring to the attention of governments the requirements that are upon them as a result of the emergencies that they confront.