Condolences – Bali Bombing: 20th Anniversary
Mr PITT: Thanks very much for the opportunity to make a brief contribution, Madam Deputy Speaker. We’ve heard from speakers tonight who have personal interactions. They have friends that they know were injured or killed, and after 20 years there are scars that will never heal. And we all remember the images and the footage of those injured and the things that we can recall from that time. I clearly recall an Australian on TV telling first responders, ‘Forget about me; help someone else.’ And, unbeknownst to him, he’d been fatally injured with burns which would eventually take his life.
The fact is that the Australian Federal Police responded in such a magnificent way in such terrible circumstances over a long period of time. There were the volunteers on the street and the individuals that helped out, and I think it is a great reflection on our country—the actions that our citizens took at such a terrible time in another country and the ability for them to simply respond because it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do.
Out of all of the footage and the images and the things that happened since that time, the strangest thing that sticks with me is actually a political cartoon. It was a cartoon where Australia was a Queenslander, and Australia was looking into the backyard, where there were some birds. There was a washing line and a clothesline, and Australia was saying, ‘Oh, no, what about the kids?’ And it was just such a powerful image—such a powerful image.
It’s incredible that 20 years has gone past, and it’s why we will fight terrorism in all its forms. So I thank our Defence Force. I thank our first responders. I say to all of those whose scars will never heal: you’ll never be forgotten. Those individuals, those Australians who were directly impacted will never be forgotten. And it’s why we should always reflect and recollect in this place even those tragedies that directly affect not us, but other Australians. It is one of the roles that we should take so seriously, and we do. I acknowledge each and every one of them and what has happened in the past, and we must continue to work forever into the future to make sure that this is never repeated anywhere, no matter what we have to do. Thank you.