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Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Page: 4463

Senator JOHNSTON (3:52 PM) —As opposition spokesman on Defence I want to support and adopt all of the words and sentiments of all senators with respect to the death of Private Benjamin Ranaudo. May I particularly adopt the words and sentiments of Senator Faulkner and my leader, Senator Minchin.

I did attend the funeral of Private Benjamin Ranaudo in Melbourne some weeks ago. This was a very fine 22-year-old private. He was an outstanding solider. May I also go on to say he was an outstanding Australian. I extend my heartfelt condolences to Benjamin’s family and to his girlfriend, Hayley. He was on deployment in Afghanistan, a very dangerous place. He was away from family and friends yet was with his brothers in arms. He was a most honourable young man. I say to his family that his sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten.

Question agreed to, honourable senators standing in their places.