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Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Page: 11

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:49): On indulgence, since parliament last met we have seen the passing of Peter Veness. It was a sad duty for me, accompanied by my partner, Tim, to attend Peter's funeral earlier this year along with other members of the parliament and, I believe, almost the entire parliamentary press gallery. He was a young man who fought incredibly hard against cancer—a young, young man taken from us and from his family far too soon. Even as he struggled with cancer and continued to come to work he turned his thoughts to fundraising for others. Many here would have participated in those fundraising events. One was participated in by Tim as a 'shave-off' event. Peter's courage was on display as he went about those good works, even as he battled cancer himself.

At the funeral service his young wife, Bec, made a remarkable tribute to him. I think her speech, along with the other contributions that day, will be in our minds and in our thoughts for a long period of time. Our thoughts continue to be with Bec and with his parents, David and Cheryl, in the depths of their grief, as we mourn a young man lost far too soon.