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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Page: 4462

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (3:50 PM) —I add to the remarks of others in the condolence motion on behalf of Family First. Private Benjamin Ranaudo was a 22-year-old from Ferntree Gully in Victoria, very close to my neighbourhood. I did speak directly with his father to share our condolences. I think it is important that the Senate and indeed Australia acknowledge and reflect upon the death of any Australian who puts their life at risk for our freedom. Private Ranaudo paid the highest price for his courage, loyalty and commitment to the ideals of freedom. We can be humbled and proud of Private Benjamin Ranaudo.

Our sincere condolences go to his parents and sisters and also his girlfriend, who would also be devastated by the loss. According to Brigadier Stuart Smith, Ben had ‘a reputation as a young man of decency and goodness with a strong regard for the feelings of others’. We stand with the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends for the loss of Private Benjamin Ranaudo.