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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19296

Mr RANDALL (12:46 PM) —Yesterday, I was moved to reflect on what is really important. The comment made to me by Sir Ernest Lee Steere some years ago still rings in my ears. He said, `Don, there are few who can really determine what is really important.' Yesterday amplified that statement. It was the day on which Pauline Hanson was jailed for three years for electoral fraud in Queensland. By contrast, it was reported that a psychiatric patient who murdered his brother's fiancee was awarded some $300,000 by the courts in New South Wales. On the same day, Wilson Tuckey MP had a censure motion moved against him by the Australian Labor Party for writing, on behalf of his son, three letters on ministerial letterhead to a South Australian government minister.

It was the same day that a massive terrorist bomb tore apart the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing 17, including the United Nations' most respected representative, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello. It was the same day that the Western Australian Premier, Dr Geoff Gallop, was pilloried by the politically correct for daring to proffer an opinion which advanced the position that Aboriginal leaders and families need to get real and shake off a culture of denial in which events in the nation's history are blamed for their children's dysfunctional behaviour. On the same day, fundamentalist terrorists set off a massive bomb in a bus in Jerusalem, killing at least 20 and wounding more than 130 people.

I believe that yesterday was important because it was Kids in the House day in the federal parliament. It was important because over 100 kids from around Australia came to Canberra with their parents, carers and friends to raise the profile of the issue of juvenile diabetes with the federal government. It was my privilege to host two fine and courageous girls from my electorate of Canning. They were Hannah Carniel and Shannon Toomath. They were accompanied by their delightful and caring mums, Mary Carniel and Jacki Toomath.

Hannah and Shannon are to be congratulated for their positive attitudes and for using the opportunity to make members of parliament and the general public aware that juvenile diabetes is a condition that, although permanent, can be better lived with, with better technology, research and understanding. I was pleased to demonstrate to Hannah and Shannon that I now have a greater appreciation of their plight and their needs and that I will use my membership of this House to promote a better deal for them, their peers and their families. I want to thank Medibank Private, Qantas and all of those who helped to make yesterday possible. Out of everything that may or may not have been important yesterday, with respect, I would have thought that was the most important.