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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 44


Senator JOYCE (Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (3:40 PM) —I concur with the comments made by Senator Evans and Senator Minchin. It is at times like this that we have to reaffirm, regardless of our differences around the chamber, the absolute and unambiguous worth of Private Sher’s life in his defence of our nation, even though it was in a form that is not current or immediate to where we see right now. It is absolutely imperative that his family know that throughout this chamber our thoughts and prayers go out to them, that we cannot fathom the depth of sadness that they would be feeling at this moment and that, in some small way, we completely recognise the sacrifice that Gregory Michael Sher has made on behalf of his nation—a nation that he travelled to, a nation that he became a part of. He is a great example to all Australians that your love of this country can be as absolute as anybody else’s, regardless of where you were born in this world.

Formerly being a member of the Army Reserve myself, I also admire that he was a person whose dedication to the Army was immense. The capacity to go from the Army Reserve into a commando unit requires incredible dedication, and Private Gregory Michael Sher was obviously a person of that capacity. Without going on longer than I should, I concur with the remarks of my colleagues and once more note that Private Gregory Michael Sher will remain in our thoughts and our prayers and that we hold his sacrifice for our nation in the highest and most immense esteem.