Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 15 October 2002
Page: 5191


Senator KNOWLES (7:13 PM) —I rise tonight to briefly place on record a couple of issues. Firstly, I would like to express my most profound sympathy, and that of my staff, to those who have lost loved ones and friends in the Bali massacre. I also wish to express my deepest and heartfelt thoughts for those who are injured, either physically or psychologically, and those who love and care for them. It is, I believe, beyond one's true comprehension as to exactly what those people have experienced and what they have yet to experience. It is a responsibility for all of us not forget them as the days, weeks and months pass and as their pain, their heartache and their sorrow, needless to say, continues.

I wish to make special mention of the Western Australians who have been affected and those families who are still worried about the whereabouts of their loved ones. Everyone hopes and prays for good news no matter how long it takes. To see the grief on the faces of the players from the Kingsley Football Club from the northern suburbs of Perth as they have decided to return home not knowing the fate of some of their fellow players is nothing short of heartbreaking. I wish them well.

The work of so many is to be commended, I believe. Those with any form of medical or first aid training who have worked tirelessly in Bali—many of them simply as volunteers, though they were up there holidaying and having a great time—have ended up playing a vital part in the treatment of those affected in this tragedy. I commend the members of the Australian Defence Force who have acted swiftly, professionally and compassionately; the medical and nursing staff of Australian hospitals; the ambulance workers; the counsellors; the Australian Red Cross; and the generous spirit of our fellow Australians. The list could go on forever.

I also want to make special mention of the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals of Perth hospitals, who have left no stone unturned in their diligence to treat the injured. The people who are working around the clock know no time and seek no special recognition. Australians who have queued to give blood, in the hope that it may help, reinforce the true Aussie spirit. There are many unsung heroes who emerge out of such tragedies. There are many people who have simply volunteered their services and many of those people have been at the coalface, dare I say, in Bali, trying to help in any way they can. I think that we owe them a special debt of gratitude because, without them, things for those who have been affected, whether physically in Bali or at home, would have been so much harder.

My contribution tonight is not long but I also wish to make a special comment on and commend the work of Father Brian Morrison in Perth, who, in his typical way, has taken immediate steps to get humanitarian aid dispatched to Bali. He has also met the planes arriving in Perth carrying the injured and met the families of those affected. Father Brian's Crisis Care is legendary in Perth. In fact, Father Brian has been to some horrific war zones throughout the world. When I talked with him this morning it was really quite devastating to hear his account of what he saw when he went out to Perth airport to meet those planes. He has said how devastating a sight it was to see the injured and that there is much that needs to be done, now and in the future, to be of real assistance.

I would like to place on record our thanks to Father Brian for all that he does for those in need—not just in Perth but around the world—because the cargo that he is sending to Bali is not just for Australians. It is also for those Balinese who, as we know, are in desperate need. So thanks to Father Brian. Channel 9 will probably kill me but, if someone wants to see something special about Father Brian on Channel 9 this Thursday night, just have a look at This Is Your Life and it will tell you how special this guy is.

I conclude where I started. To all those affected in one form or another in this dreadful tragedy, from a Western Australian and Australian point of view—of course, Western Australia has a particular affiliation with Bali because of our location, and many people fly there for their holidays not just once a year but numerous times a year; many of my friends fly there regularly throughout the year—I say that we are with you in every way possible. If there is anything that any of us can ever do—I know that I speak for my colleagues, and I see Senator Webber from Western Australia in the chamber here tonight—in a most bipartisan way we would be only too happy to be of assistance. We are thinking of you.