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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3472

Mr COLEMAN (Banks) (11:38): I rise to convey my deepest condolences to the families of all of those who are presumed to have been lost on flight MH370. Every one of the 239 passengers and crew have families and loved ones who are going through unspeakable grief at this time. We cannot begin to understand what they are going through or in any way lessen their pain, but we can tell them that they are in our thoughts and prayers. For the six Australians on the flight we feel a particular loss. To the families of Mary and Rodney Burrows, Catherine and Robert Lawton and Yuan Li and Naijun Gu we in this parliament offer the condolences of our fellow Australians. Yuan Li and Naijun Gu were residents of southern Sydney and, I understand, had recently been living in Hurstville, in my electorate of Banks. To their families and loved ones, who are mourning for them at this time: I know that nothing can take the pain away, but I want you to know that I and all the people of Banks are thinking of you. We cannot pretend that we truly know how you feel but we can tell you that we mourn with you and are deeply sorry for your loss. I would like also to offer my condolences to the family of New Zealander Paul Weeks, who was a resident of Perth. We feel a special connection with our New Zealand neighbours and we feel deeply for Mr Weeks's wife and family.

At times like this we understand the limitations of mere words. To the families of those lost on MH370 I offer my deepest condolences.