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Re-opening of the Parliament House Shop

EOE

Madame President, Mr Speaker, Kim Beazley, the Leader of the Opposition, my other Parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. First of all Madame ... Tony De Domenico representing Kate Carnell, the Chief Minister of the ACT ... this may be your first public appearance as President of the Senate and can I take the opportunity to very warmly congratulate you on election to that office. I think you were elected unopposed. That is a rare occurrence in this building so I wish you every happiness.

To Mr Podmore and all the other people associated with the Parliament House Shop, can I just express my simple admiration of the way in which you have fought back from the distress and the devastation of Monday. It's a remarkable example of the Aussie fighting spirit. It speaks volumes of the sheer energy and commitment that is a token of small business in Australia. We are talking here about a small business that was destroyed in a physical sense on Monday and has been rebuilt in a remarkable way over the last couple of days, and I don't think any of us could underestimate the depth of anger in the Australian community at the wilfulness of what happened on Monday and the indiscriminate sacking of a business and the destruction of property belonging to people who had absolutely nothing to do with the Government process of this country sickened a lot of people, irrespective of their politics. And the fact that you have been able to get it together so impressively, the fact that you have received messages from all around the country is a sign of what Australians felt, and it is a tribute to you and I am delighted that I have been asked to be associated in a small way.

I wish you well. I wish the business well and I thank everybody very warmly who has been associated with the work of the past couple of days. It's a remarkable example of before and after to go through that shock and to see what has been achieved. Congratulations and I wish all of you well and I wish the shop increased sales and soaring profitability.