Monday, 24 June 2013
Statements by Members
Boer War Memorial
As a member of parliament I regularly receive many petitions. However, 7 May, I must confess, was the first time that a petition was delivered to me on horseback. My colleague Senator Ronaldson, the shadow minister for veterans' affairs, and I received this petition with 10,200 signatures, calling on the federal government to support a national Boer War memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra, to honour the 23,000 men and women of Australia who served our country in the Boer War; some 1,000 of whom gave their lives. I particularly want to pay tribute to Vietnam veteran and Boer War veteran descendant Lieutenant Colonel Miles Farmer AOM, and Captain Mike Fitzgerald, who, in Boer War Light Horse uniform and with his horse 'Boy', came from Sydney especially to present the petition. Like many other families, I have a special interest, as my great-uncle, Major Edmund Righetti, volunteered as a private to join the Victorian first contingent to go to the Boer War in 1899.
Sadly, there is still no national memorial to honour those who fought so courageously in this battle, which marks the birth of the Australian Defence Force which has served our country so well these past 110 years. Those involved in this conflict deserve to be remembered with a fitting memorial. Mr Deputy Speaker, I know you join me in urging everyone here to support this project. I seek leave to present an out-of-order petition. There is one wrong word; that is why I need to seek leave to present it.