Nine thousand deaths is a figure which is unfathomable for us as a community here in Australia, with the possibility of 20,000 deaths to come. As a member, I find it hard to correlate that amount of devastation and destruction. In my experience in the seat of Wright on 10 January we experienced a wall of water—nowhere near the velocity of the tsunami that was experienced in Japan—that was 28 feet high. It came through and destroyed homes in my electorate, displaced families and people who today are still unable to return to their homes because they are either not there, they are gone, or have been condemned as a result of heavy inundation of water from flooding.
My heart goes out to the people of Japan. But if Japan has taught us anything in the past 200 years it is that it is a resilient country. To understand that you only have to look at the quality of the Honda motors they build, which I believe are one of the best small and high performance motors. The guys just get it when it comes to performing. Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank you for your indulgence. My heart does go out. The people of Wright offer their condolences to the people of Japan. As a nation we are tired of disasters. Our hearts go out to our New Zealand cousins and, of course, our Japanese cousins. I leave the Japanese people with a quote from the Beatles’ lyrics: ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’. Japan as a nation can see Australia as a friend.