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Monday, 14 September 2009
Page: 9509

Mr HARTSUYKER (4:11 PM) —I take the opportunity to read from a letter to the editor which was published in the Coffs Coast Advocate, relating to the recent floods of 31 March. It was written by Georgia Newell, a very articulate 14-year-old. Georgia writes:

Lately I bet you have been getting a lot of complaints from the adults of the Mid North Coast about the floods from March, but have you heard about the problem from a child’s point of view?

I may only be 14 years old, but I do know what is right and what is wrong.

You are supposed to be sticking up for all Australians. Let me guess, did your government fund all the victims of the Victoria Bushfires?

Of course you did.

All those people had lost homes and belongings, Labor Party or not.

It’s hard enough with Australia going through a recession, but when hundreds of Australian homes go under water, you don’t seem to care.

You tell Australians not to discriminate against each other, yet you are discriminating to the people of Coffs Harbour all because our member of parliament is with the Nationals.

Now what kind of example are you showing to the future adults of Australia?

We will be voting in a few years and how do you expect us to vote for you if we know that you won’t help all Australian when they are in crisis?

Most of the people who lost their homes are elderly who only have a small retirement fund because they spent it all on the house that just got destroyed.

These people are mums and dads, grandparents, neighbours and you can somehow sleep at night knowing that they do not have a home to sleep in too.

All Australians are equal, Labor Party or not.

You should start treating us like it. Set a good example to the youth of today.

To you I may be a kid, but I know when people have stepped over the line.

That was 14-year-old Georgia Newell, with a very insightful letter to the editor—one that the Prime Minister and the Minister for Community Services should take heed of. They should treat all Australians equally; they should pay the Coffs Harbour flood of victims in exactly the same way that victims of other flood events were treated and exactly the same way as the victims of the Victorian bushfires were treated. There is no logical reason to have any discrimination between the Victorian victims of fires and the Coffs Harbour victims of floods. It has been absolutely outrageous that this Prime Minister and the Minister for Community Services have abandoned these people. Fourteen-year-old Georgia Newell knows what is right, yet our Prime Minister and our Minister for Community Services cannot seem to get the message.