THE HON SIMON CREAN MP
Minister for Regional Australia
Minister for Regional Development and Local Government
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Member for Lingiari
SENATOR TRISH CROSSIN
Senator for the Northern Territory
6 March 2011
A memorial service was held on Christmas Island today to acknowledge and thank the Christmas Island community for their efforts during the tragic events of 15 December 2010.
The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon MP, and Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, spoke at the service and thanked the community on behalf of the Australian Government for their response in difficult circumstances.
“From all accounts the community, emergency personnel, and Australian Government workers showed courage, leadership and resourcefulness to help those in the tragic emergency on 15 December,” Mr Snowdon said.
“The circumstances were diabolical – terrible weather conditions, the port at Flying Fish Cove closed and none of the locally based vessels could be launched,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Today I want to acknowledge the efforts of the Christmas Island community to respond during the emergency and also remember those that were lost.”
“I want to also commend the skills and bravery of Navy personnel and Customs and Border Protection officers involved in the rescue effort. They put their lives at risk to save 42 people, together with the community members,” Senator Crossin said.
“Without these efforts the number of casualties would have been much higher and on behalf of the Australian community we express our heartfelt thanks.”
A minute’s silence was observed to pay tribute to the efforts of those who responded to the tragedy and to those who lost their lives or their loved ones.
The memorial service was attended by Christmas Island community members, Australian Government department representatives, Members of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Federal Police as well as rescue and emergency service Christmas Island staff and various religious organisations.
Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean, who has responsibility for Territories, said the Federal Government was responding to the needs of people on Christmas Island.
“The Federal Government is fully aware of the impact of the tragedy on residents of the Island and is delivering important support. For instance, the Government has been providing counselling to residents and these services are on-going,” Mr Crean said.
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999 (Interviews will be available Sunday morning from 9am EST due to travel commitments)
Minister Crean: Clinton Porteous 0403 369 588
Senator Crossin: Carla Fernandes: 0407 619 383 (Interviews will be available Sunday morning from 9am EST due to travel commitments)