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Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Page: 6215


Ms MARINO (6:13 PM) —I rise to speak on the condolence motion for Sapper Smith and Sapper Moerland. I offer very sincere condolences and sympathy to their families, their friends and their ADF colleagues. They were indeed fine, brave young men. We know that our Australian ADF members are held in great regard right around the world and have been throughout our history as a nation, and rightly so. We need to acknowledge these two young men with the absolute greatest respect.

I have received a letter from the Returned and Services League of Australia sub-branch in the town of Bunbury in my electorate. They have written to me and said:

The RSL Sub-Branch Bunbury, WA, would like to pass on our condolences to the families, friends and service comrades of Sappers Darren Smith and Jacob Moerland who were killed in action in Afghanistan.

We feel for them, as in the Army, we are all one family and their deaths have a great effect on all their comrades past and present.

These young men joined the Australian Defence Force to protect and serve their country and have paid the ultimate sacrifice and deserve and receive our highest praise and respect.

Although Bunbury is a quiet little town we have received numerous calls from our members and the public in regards to this tragedy, offering condolences and at the same time supporting our serving troops. There will be no repeat of the shameful way our Vietnam Veterans were treated and their memories tarnished.

We have local members who are ex Engineers, and they keenly feel the deaths of Sapper Smith and Moerland as comrades as it revives memories of the mates they lost during their service.

Our local member and President for many years, Mr. Ross Stewart, made the following comments: “As a Sapper going to Vietnam part of our training included the technique of mine detection and booby traps and how to deal with them. Dealing with the reality of losing a mate (who, one has trained with) has life long memories of sorrow and not being able to rectify these occurrences and others, one never forgets”.

I believe these will be the sentiments and feelings of the comrades of Sappers Smith and Moerland. Again can I offer our greatest condolences and thoughts. We ask that these families are able to find the strength to deal with what they have to deal with. Not just now but throughout their whole lives they will remember this. To Sapper Smith’s wife and son and to the parents and families, we say: our deepest condolences. From Trevor Kenny, the President of the RSL in Bunbury, I do the same. I know the Bunbury RSL members would like me to say that they will be remembering these two young men on Anzac Day, and they would like me to say:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.