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Monday, 26 March 2001
Page: 25569

Mr MOSSFIELD (1:45 PM) —At the conclusion of this statement I will table a petition of 766 citizens of Australia which has been certified by the Deputy Clerk and calls on this House to review the issues surrounding HMAS Hawkesbury and the atomic testing on Montebello Island during the 1950s. It gives me great pleasure to table this petition on behalf of Keith Harrison and the sailors who served aboard HMAS Hawkesbury. These sailors were used as human guinea pigs during the atomic test on Montebello Island and were then not fully compensated by successive governments.

The petition was signed by 766 people mainly from the Blacktown area but also from other parts of Sydney and, indeed, other parts of Australia. When we took this petition to shopping centres in Blacktown, Quakers Hill, Lalor Park, Seven Hills and elsewhere in the Greenway electorate, I found that people were eager to sign it and were eager to see justice done. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who signed the petition and gave their encouragement to continue this fight. The people in Blacktown are very generous in such things. I would also like to thank the local media outlets that picked up and ran with Keith's story. Keith Harrison himself, although suffering from ill health, was also very active in collecting signatures at these shopping centres. I urge the minister, when he has seen the community response through this petition, to re-examine this issue and to grant the justice that is long overdue. (Time expired)