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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1300

Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (20:49): I rise to speak in support of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Bourke Street Fund) Bill 2017. It was a regular January lunchtime in Melbourne city. The Bourke Street Mall, in the heart of the city, was full of shoppers, workers on their lunchbreak, holiday-makers, parents and their children. In a few short minutes, one person managed to wreak havoc in the heart of the city, and lives were ruined forever. We wish these moments when lives are taken needlessly and many others are injured would never arise, but sadly, tragically, these events do occur. They disturb our sense of who we are, our sense of order and our sense of reality, and we ask ourselves: why?

Our sympathies and love go out to the families and friends of those who passed away on that fateful day, and our strength goes out to those who were injured and are still fighting to recover. We acknowledge the bravery and resolve of those people who rushed to care for the dying and injured—ordinary civilians who showed courage in the face of adversity. We also thank the emergency services personnel who responded so bravely and so quickly in the line of duty.

It happened just a short month ago. There was an immediate outpouring of emotion and grief in Melbourne and around the country. Now our job is to ensure that those families—those people involved in this tragedy who were so devastated by the event—are remembered and supported through our actions. I encourage all Australians who are able to do so to support the Bourke Street Fund, to open their hearts and to honour the memory of so many lives taken far too soon.