Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Australian PM pays an emotional tribute to her countrymen.....

The "Land From Down Under", Austrailia has been taking it on the chin from Mother Nature - Floods, Cyclones, Wildfires, and all manner of whatever could happen to them has been happening. Aussies are made of tough stuff and anyone who has seen them on the Battlefield can testify to that.

The Austrailian Prime Minister gave an emotional speech about what her country has been through and how a flag was given to her by a helicopter rescue crew who found it - muddy but unbowed.

I salute our friends in Austrailia and their unbrokem spirit...Keep up the superior effort.

No worries mates - Fair Dinkum !!

Australian PM Pays Emotional Tribute to Natural Disaster Victims
2011-02-08 www.ntdtv.com

Australia's parliament met for the first time this year on Tuesday.

Political parties put hostilities on hold as they paid tribute to those who died during a summer of natural disasters.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has been criticized for not showing enough empathy during the emergencies, became visibly emotional as she led a bipartisan condolence speech.

[Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister]:
"I move that the house acknowledges with great sadness the devastation occasioned by this summer's natural disasters including unprecedented floods, Cyclone Yasi and bushfires, extends its deepest sympathies to the families of those who have lost loved ones.”

She paid special tribute to thousands of volunteers and rescue workers, displaying an Australian flag given to her by the crew of a rescue helicopter.

[Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister]:
These helicopters continued with their search and rescue in the days to come and they found this flag mister speaker and I was honored when they gave it to me.”

She also told of local heroes that emerged from touching rescue stories.

[Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister]:
“I spoke to them of courage, the courage it takes to keep filling sand bags even when your back is breaking, the courage it takes to hold your nerve in the dark as the cyclone races around you, the courage it takes to tell your children to run across the railway line, knowing it is dangerous, knowing they could fall but knowing it is their only hope of getting to safety, the courage it takes for a young boy, 13-year-old boy Jordan Rice to say to his rescuers, take my brother first and before that brave rescuer could return, Jordan and mum Donna were taken by the flood but the legend of Jordan's amazing courage will go on."

Floods in the northern Queensland state alone killed 35 people, with nine still missing, inundated 30-thousand homes and wiped out roads, rail lines and bridges.

Destructive floods also swept through New South Wales and Victoria states, a massive category five cyclone hit northern Queensland and ferocious bushfires have destroyed more than 60 homes around the Western Australian capital of Perth.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott also paid tribute to volunteers and rescue workers and commended Gillard for her efforts.

[Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader]:
"I rise to support the motion so eloquently moved by the prime minister, we have lived through a summer of disaster, a summer of flood, of storm, of fire, it is right that this parliament should pause at some length to reflect on that to mourn the death, to offer words of comfort to the suffering, to congratulate everyone who has responded to this with courage, with professionalism and with good old-fashioned Aussie grit and also may I say, mister speaker, to congratulate the prime minister for the effort that she has made over recent weeks and again today to be with the victims of the floods."

The bipartisanism is unlikely to last very long, with the government and opposition still arguing over how to pay for disaster recovery.

Economists estimate the floods and cyclone damage to be more than $10 billion with the national government to pay around 75 percent of the costs.

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