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Bourke Street Tragedy

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak in support of the condolence motion for the lives lost and the people injured in the Bourke Street tragedy on 20 January this year. This tragedy was on a day that started with acts of violence in Windsor, in my local community, and ended with the deaths of four people, including a 10-year-old child, Thalia Hakin; and injuries to and hospitalisations of many others in the CBD. That heartbreak has continued since that day, with the deaths of two more, including three-month-old baby Zachary Bryant.

This tragedy shook our community — our city, our state and even our entire country. But in response, the community has rallied, both in its immediate response to those in need by bystanders and emergency services personnel and in the hours, days and weeks that have followed by police, all at our hospitals, our public service and the wider community. It came together in support of the victims, the survivors and those who gave assistance, and it demonstrated the values of compassion and unity, showing that it is these values that define us, not the unconscionable actions of one person.

Laying flowers with my family on Bourke Street on behalf of the Prahran community in the days after the tragedy was so incredibly sobering and it gave me pause to reflect on the fragility of life, which was ended so violently that day. This tragedy has left us all with questions on how this occurred, left us seeking answers and left us with a strong desire for a response from this place. Yes, there should be a response from this place — comprehensive, evidence based and with full and open consultation with relevant parties, whether they be in justice, law enforcement or mental health, and of course with the public. The gravity of this situation warrants nothing else.

We mourn with those families who have lost loved ones, and we are willing on those who are still suffering to survive and to heal. Our community is with you.