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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 432

Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (17:22): I want to continue on this motion on the Bourke Street tragedy and particularly a statement on indulgence regarding the tragedy that occurred. Kaitlyn Offer from the Australian Associated Press recently wrote and started an article by saying:

It was six minutes of mayhem. A rampage that has cast a giant, lingering shadow over Melbourne.

She is correct. This time and this tragic event has rightly focused the minds of Victorians on the importance and primacy of safety wherever you are in Melbourne and a concern about their ongoing lives and making sure that they live lives free from crime.

This tragic event has particularly hit our Goldstein community hard and in a deeply personal way for one family. I recently spoke in a 90-second statement about Thalia Hakin. Our community is grieving for the tragic loss of her life all too young as a victim of the Bourke Street carnage that shocked Melbourne on 20 January. She was only 10 years old. We continue to stand with the Hakin family and send our heartfelt best wishes to Thalia's mother, Nathalie, and her sister, Maggie, who remain critically injured from the event.

As I previously said in this place, it has been deeply moving to see the Bentleigh community and the Goldstein community generally stand shoulder to shoulder with Thalia's father, Tony, and particularly the support that Tony and his family have enjoyed from Melbourne's Jewish community within the Goldstein community and also the neighbouring electorate of Melbourne Ports. They have come together in moments of remembrance and at services as well as at Thalia's funeral to share the loss together and help support each other in an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking time. But the strength of our community bonds and efforts to rally and support this family reflect the absolute best of the Australian spirit, particularly in difficult times.

However, this lingering shadow has shown cracks in the Victorian people after such horrific tragedy as people are rightly coming together, trying to understand this event, the cause of it and then how they should properly respond. Quite rightly, many people are mourning, and that mourning has progressively turned to anger. The question that is being asked is: how does something like this occur? Hindsight gives Victorians answers. The accused driver—I will not mention his name because I do not believe, in any way, in acknowledging horrific crimes and giving them any sort of recognition—has been charged with five counts of murder and is expected to be charged with a sixth. He was out on bail. The anger in the community over the past two years has progressively shifted to a concern about whether there is enough focus on making sure that those people who have committed crimes remain incarcerated in a way that they cannot commit these sorts of ugly crimes into the future.

At the heart of this event is the fact that innocent people were mowed down in a street like any other in Melbourne. I think that, for a lot of us, this tragic event draws a terrible parallel with our own lives because it was one of those genuine occasions of: 'There but for the grace of God go I.' That is why it has hit the Victorian community so strongly and why the Victorian community has also taken the opportunity to come together, to band together, to share the pain and the experience and to try and improve the sense of community that we all share in difficult times. It is at these times that it is important to acknowledge not only the commitment of everybody who has come together and supported the Hakin family, who have lived in Goldstein and continue to live in Goldstein, but also the enduring strength of the Victorian community, so that we can all move forward together.