Mr GEPP (Northern Victoria) (09:43): I join with members in acknowledging this most solemn of days, Remembrance Day, the day when the supposed war to end all wars ceased in 1918. The Australian War Memorial records show that more than 60 000 Aussies died in World War I, with 155 000 wounded and some 4000 taken as prisoners. The tragedy of Gallipoli, the horror of the Somme and the quagmire that was Fromelles must never be repeated and must never be forgotten.
For many of us as we move through our electorates, particularly those of us with rural constituencies, the centrepiece of small country towns is of course the war memorial. What comes to mind is Centenary Park in Wycheproof, which has a most impressive and beautiful memorial. What strikes you is just how many names from the district are on the memorial. It is very, very moving. Here you have a small town, yet many of its sons are resting on the other side of the world. One of these brave men is Tatura born and bred Private Robert Mactier, VC, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, 23rd battalion, in 1917. He died in 1918 at the age of 28. Private Mactier was posthumously awarded the VC for his incredible heroics in the battle north of Péronne in France.
On this Remembrance Day I also want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the great work done by Legacy and the Legatees, who are providing not only much-needed financial and practical assistance to the families of veterans but also love and companionship. Lest we forget.