Mr Bruce Baratta

It is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to a friend and long-serving member of the ACT Labor Party, Bruce Francis Baratta, who passed away unexpectedly on 8 May. Bruce was a dedicated public servant and a Canberran who gave tirelessly to his community. He was active in the Weston Creek Community Association and then Community Council, and more recently he was an active member of the Yarralumla Residents Association. In fact, Bruce was somewhat of a legend around the suburb of Yarralumla, where he lived until his recent passing.

Bruce was a dedicated member of the Labor Party and an active member of the Telopea Sub Branch. He was not only passionate about politics but he was also dedicated to democracy and counted votes for the Australian Electoral Commission at every election from 1971 until he joined the ALP. Bruce was an avid sports fan—in fact he was crazy about sport—and I am assured by his sons that he would have been thrilled with the results of last night's State of Origin.

On a personal note, Bruce was an enormous support for me over the last four years. He could always be relied on to show up to a mobile office, a pre-polling station or wherever he was needed to help out. As members here all know, without volunteers like Bruce, campaigns simply do not happen. I will be forever grateful for his unwavering support.

Most importantly, however, Bruce was a family man. He loved his family with a gigantic passion and my thoughts are with them at this sad time. I thank his sons, Julian and David, for being here today and congratulate them again for a warm, funny send-off for Bruce just last week. Rest in peace Bruce Baratta. You will be greatly missed by your Canberra community, your Labor family and your adored and adoring children.

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