Speeches

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:14): I rise today, on this last day of sitting, to mention the Yarra Glen Bushfire Memorial, which I know Mr Deputy Speaker Mitchell will be familiar with. The memorial to commemorate the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009 was unveiled on 25 November. I note on this last day of sitting that the fifth anniversary of that shocking day will have arrived when we next meet. It was a very moving time on 25 November to see the unveiling of what is a very touching memorial, created by local artist Ernst Fries. As the 110 or so people at the event saw, it depicts the tragedy and the recovery. Indeed, it has three large screen panels constructed from coloured transparent glass, firstly depicting the ferocity of the fires, then the recovery and finally the hope for the future following that disaster. The memorial is in…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:32): In rising to speak on this motion, I want to say how compelling the contributions have been, from the Deputy Prime Minister in the House to all those who have contributed over the last few hours, including the previous speaker, the member for Grayndler. It was a little over a half a century before Nelson Mandela's birth that Abraham Lincoln said: Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. The life of Nelson Mandela is one that demonstrated humility and nobility. All of us, in speaking on this motion, are recognising a man who occupies pride of place in the pantheon of history's greatest peacemakers. Many speakers have spoken of the adversity he confronted and, of course, he confronted it on the first day of his birth because he was born into a society built…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (19:35): It is my pleasure to pay tribute to a great community builder from the town of Mount Evelyn in the electorate of Casey. I speak of Betty Crittenden, someone who has served that Mount Evelyn community, and the Mount Evelyn RSL in particular, with distinction over 28 years. I was pleased and honoured to be able to share in a recognition of her service just a couple of weekends back, on Saturday 16 November. The Mount Evelyn RSL hosted a presentation of an award for her to recognise all she has done for the RSL over 28 years. Betty Crittenden has been a feature of the Mount Evelyn community every Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, selling countless badges and poppies. She has also, over the years, been very active not only in general fundraising for the welfare of members but also in helping the club…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:05): I want to take the opportunity this morning in this House to recognise and pay tribute to some great community builders in the Casey electorate. First, I would like to inform the House about the 30th anniversary celebration for the Reefton Country Fire Authority. Reefton is a small country town in the heart of the Yarra Valley on the Warburton Highway beyond Warburton. It is one of the most fire prone towns in the Yarra Valley. The CFA, in celebrating their 30th anniversary, looked back on all that they had achieved. It was also a time to present some medals relating to the 2009 Black Saturday fires. Those from Victoria, in particular—including my colleague across the table, the member for Bendigo—know that a CFA formed 30 years ago would have been formed in the wake of the terrible Ash Wednesday fires, and that is the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (10:16): This morning I want to recognise and thank all of the participants in the Yarra Ranges Relay For Life who walked and ran around the Don Road football facility a couple of weekends ago. As we know, the Relay For Life—which is held in all of our electorates right across Australia—is a time for people to come together to remember and reflect on friends, relatives and loved ones who have suffered or may be suffering from cancer. It is a time to raise much needed funds but also a time to raise awareness. The Relay for Life started late in the afternoon and ran for 18 hours through until the Sunday morning and saw many teams from the Yarra Ranges and from across the federal electorate of Casey turn up, participate and raise much needed funds and awareness. This is the 10th year of the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (09:42): I rise in the House to pay tribute to and recognise a fine public service career not here in Canberra but in local government in the electorate of Casey, which I have the honour of representing here, in our federal parliament. I speak of Alison Cran who recently retired from the Yarra Ranges Council after nearly 13 years of dedicated service as the Director of Social and Economic Development. Before this she had a career in other areas of local government. I am pretty sure that Alison did not and does not agree with me on every issue but I am certain of the most important thing: Alison always acted in the finest traditions of the public service—professional, hardworking, dedicated, passionate, prepared to deal with the difficult issues and prepared to look to the long term. At a recent farewell function for her, the Chief…