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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2940

Mr FITZGIBBON (HunterChief Government Whip) (12:16): I was honoured and privileged this morning to be in the Great Hall, which was overflowing. It is pretty difficult to bring the Great Hall to overflowing, and I proudly wear the pin to mark the occasion as I speak. I want to congratulate the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and all those who have played a role in some way in bringing the apology to fruition, not just in this place, but in the various state houses of parliament.

I join with all those who spoke so powerfully this morning in offering my own apology, as a member of this place and as a member of the Australian community, for the wrongs of the past. Some of the very powerful words heard this morning, including the suggestion—I am afraid I do not remember who the quote came from, I think it might have been a psychiatrist who said it—that one would swear some of the things we are dealing with happened a century ago in less enlightened times. But yet, very, very sadly, these were events that occurred only 30 or 35 years ago, and it is just so difficult to believe we could get things so wrong as legislators.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for Hunter for his words.