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Christine Milne on Phillip Hughes condolence: 'Enormous respect as a cricketer, and a much loved son'

Speeches in Parliament
Christine Milne 3 Dec 2014

The Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, addresses the senate on a condolence motion for cricketer Phillip Hughes.

Senator MILNE: by leave-On behalf of the Australian Greens, I join with Senator Abetz and Senator Faulkner in expressing profound sadness at the tragic death of outstanding young Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, the 408th Australian selected to wear the beloved baggy green for his country. Today we send our love and thoughts to his family, to his team mates, to the extended cricket family and to the community in Macksville, as we join them in mourning the tragic death, but also celebrating the life, of Phillip Joel Hughes.

Cricket is a much loved national sport for both players and spectators. It brings us all so much joy. But this tragic event brings us an overwhelming feeling of sadness and a coming-together to pay tribute to a wonderful young Australian. The Greens also send our support to Sean Abbott and to all other cricketers around the country. The nation is sending you strength as you reassess your engagement with this great game.

As a mother, I dropped off my son at cricket for years, helped to unpack the bag, wash the cricket whites-going through the whole saga that families go through from one end of the country to the other as they pack up their sons and daughters to get to cricket practice and cricket games. Every time I dropped him off, I never thought that he would die playing the sport that he loved. It does not enter your head as a family as you drop off someone and go through this ritual. No doubt it is exactly the same for families everywhere, including the Hughes family. No doubt, as the family sat in the stands, their great stress for the day was whether he would play well enough to make it back into the Australian team. And by the end of the day tragedy had struck.

I think that is in part why we all find it so profoundly sad-because of its randomness. This tragedy could have hit any cricketing family anywhere, anyone's son or daughter, at any time. That is why we want the Hughes family to know that we care about what has happened to them and we share their grief and send them support. We have enormous respect for Phillip Hughes as a cricketer, but we also want them to know that we recognise he was a much loved son, and we send them our condolence.

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