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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 51


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (09:29): by leave—My great-grandfather, who was also great-grandfather of Christian Porter in this place, tossed a coin with his brother to see who would go and who would stay. My great-grandfather lost, so his brother went to Gallipoli. He will always be at Gallipoli. There is a wonderful movie called Saving Private Ryan, which has the most moving scene I have ever seen in a movie. It is when the cameras are behind the mother, when the two men in black come up the driveway and hand her the telegram, and every single thing that is in that woman's body that keeps her upright just crumples as she falls into the floor knowing that her three sons are dead. Well, my great-great-grandmother stood in the doorway and received that telegram, and my great-grandmother also stood in the doorway and received that telegram. In a terrible piece of irony, Bert Henley, some years after he returned from Changi prison, died prematurely.

Having said those things, it was my generation that went to Vietnam, and I was lucky enough to not have to go. I was one of the lucky ones. But of those that went, and the sacrifices they made—I think the Leader of the Opposition told a very moving story at the university. The governor of Queensland and I were presidents of university colleges in those days, and she became the ambassador of China. I said to her, 'Was Mao Zedong as bad as people made him out to be—28 million dead?' She said, 'No, it wasn't 28 million.' I said, 'How many was it?' She said, 'It was 48 million,' and the last three books I read said 48 million.

We lived in a period where the communists were taking a country, on average, every two years, and Stalin, as the history books tell you, was responsible for 28 million deaths. The monstrosities of communism in those two countries accounted for 100 million deaths. Every two years they were taking a country until they hit Vietnam, and the Governor-General of Australia, on this day last year, said it was the final battle. Never again did the communists take another country. The history books are now written, and we know that those people who were unlucky enough—and I think the word is 'unlucky'—to have been balloted or been sent to Vietnam are the heroes who turned back the monstrosity that, just in two countries, had murdered 100 million people. And, if we pay a tribute, I finish by reciting a wonderful country music song which centres upon the Battle of Beersheba. It concludes by saying:

Now the angel of death with his knock at the door.

The crumpled up telegram falls to the floor.

Her reason for livin is livin no more, as she cries for the pride of Australia.

Thank you.