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Thursday, 12 February 2009
Page: 1130

Mr HALE (11:03 AM) —It gives me a great deal of pleasure to speak on the Disability Discrimination and Other Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. I have a brother who has, over a number of years, been adopted by our family. He is a Tiwi Islander. His name is Fabian Bush. He suffers from cerebral palsy. My mother spends a lot of time with Fabian. They go to the movies and the football together. He is a mad Collingwood supporter unfortunately. We have tried to bring him over to Essendon on a number of occasions but he sticks to his Magpies. This sort of legislation is very good for someone like Bushy. It has been fantastic to have him in our family. I take this opportunity to speak about him, because he is one of these types of guys who just loves life. His body is all twisted up through his illness, through cerebral palsy, but his brain is as sharp as a tack. He is 40 years old now. My father and I used to have great pleasure in giving him a couple of beers whenever he came to the St Mary’s football club, but we have now been told by his doctor that giving him beer is inappropriate. He enjoys life, and I think that people with disabilities do enjoy life. There is a clear message to all of us about just being able to get out there and enjoy life.

My father came down for my swearing in at this place and he was in a wheelchair at the time. It was so difficult to get him into planes and to get him down sky bridges and to get him into taxis and those sorts of things. As a society, we need to make things easier for people with disabilities. We need to make it easy for people with disabilities to go about their daily routines. If it means building houses that have doorjambs 820 millimetres apart instead of 740 millimetres, those are the sorts of things that we need to do. As a country, until we really embrace people with disabilities and make things easier for them, we have not arrived as a country. So it is with a great deal of pleasure that I take this opportunity to speak about my brother Fabian and what an inspiration he is to me. I commend this bill to the House.