House debates

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Statements by Members

Beirut: Explosion

1:30 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

On 4 August, the world stopped as we watched again and again the footage of Beirut. While only one Australian citizen was reported as lost—young Australian Isaac Oehlers, aged two—the truth is that many, many members of the Australian family were lost in that moment. My electorate has a very large number of people who have lost friends, siblings, cousins or other loved ones. As those who have followed Lebanon know, Lebanon was already in a vulnerable state before the detonation occurred. Our hearts go out to all Australians who have suffered and are grieving during this time. We thank the government for the action that it's taken so far in support, and we want to say that any further action the government wishes to take to help the people of Lebanon at this time will have immediate bipartisan support. There are so many people there that are part of the Australian family. As Australians, in their hour of need, we want to make sure we're with them too.