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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 11874


Mr TURNBULL (Leader of the Opposition) (2:12 PM) —Mr Speaker, on indulgence: on behalf of the opposition I wish to associate us with the Prime Minister’s remarks. We share the very fine sentiments he has expressed. As Thursday’s tragic events in Mumbai remind us, the threat from terrorism is very real. It threatens Australians around the world. This sordid and murderous assault on India’s most cosmopolitan city was designed to strike at the heart of the confidence that has seen India, in its economic growth, in its democracy, pull so many millions of people out of the very depths of poverty. It is designed to set India back on the path that it has undertaken.

There were many Australians in Mumbai on that awful night, as indeed there are on every night—working, holidaying, going about their business peacefully. The heartbreaking news for us is that at least two Australians, Mr Brett Taylor and Mr Douglas Markell, both of Sydney, have lost their lives at the hands of these murderers. Mr Markell was a constituent of mine and a former deputy mayor of Woollahra. He was a committed, energetic, hardworking, civic minded Australian. Our prayers and condolences go to Mr Taylor’s family and Mr Markell’s family, as indeed they go to the families of all those who have been killed or injured in this dreadful attack. The attack reminds us of the global threat of terrorism, its mindlessness, its cruelty and its indifference to the horrors that it inflicts on peaceful people.

Who among us will ever forget the photograph of one of the gunmen—barely out of his teens, assault rifle ready to kill, eyes crazed, no concern for the horror he was inflicting? We know from those cruel eyes that terrorism still stalks the planet. It is still out there poisoning young minds and making the world less safe and secure. We have seen it on 9-11 and with the Bali bombings. We have seen it in London and Madrid. We have seen it in the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, and so the terrible list goes on. Now in Mumbai another 195 people or more, including 18 foreigners, have lost their lives as a result of this senseless savagery.

These dreadful events remind us that in a global world, security is indivisible and that the threat to free societies has not retreated. We know also that we must remain vigilant and resolute in our determination to confront the enemies of freedom and democracy wherever they may strike, and we offer our support, our solidarity, our love to the people of India and our help wherever we can to defeat those who would seek to create chaos and fear in our midst.