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Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Page: 11954

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:02): I thank the Prime Minister for his heartfelt words. As honourable members are aware, the member for Barton has taken leave from this parliament following the tragic death of her 33-year-old son, Binni. As she said in her touching and sad statement this morning, she returned to Sydney last night to be with him one last time. On behalf of Chloe and myself, and on behalf of the whole Labor family, I want to offer our deepest condolences to Linda and her family. This is just so sad. As Jenny Macklin and I were speaking to her last night, the grief was terrible. Losing a child is every parent's nightmare. It is, as Shakespeare once said, a grief that fills up the room. We know how much Linda loved her son and we know how much her son loved Linda.

In this time of deep sadness, can I please request that the media respect her family's privacy, and I know that they will. And I should add that the family have asked that, instead of flowers, if people are so inclined, could they please contribute to the Central Coast Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre. All of us send our love and our solidarity to our friend and colleague and her family at this time.