It is with the heaviest of hearts today that I rise to pay tribute to a wonderful young Canberran, Labor Party member, political staffer and friend—Kurt Steel. Kurt was tragically killed in a bus accident in Bolivia over the weekend, aged just 25. In his all-too-brief life, Kurt made a significant contribution to our nation, the Canberra community and the Labor cause.
Kurt grew up in Torrens and attended Melrose High and then Canberra College. He studied at the University of Canberra, where he was president of the student association. Kurt loved Canberra and dedicated his life to making our city a better place.
He was also a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the ACT Labor Party. As well as being the media adviser to ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Kurt was on just about every committee imaginable. He was also active in the sub-branch that he and I both attended, Canberra South. He will be remembered as professional, dedicated and hardworking—but, more importantly, as enormously funny, friendly, eternally positive, always smiling and full of potential. I am proud to have known Kurt, to have worked with him and to have called him my friend. My deepest sympathy goes to his parents, Jayne and Phillip, his sister, Yasmin, and his brother, Chris, as well as to Kurt's many, many friends. Rest in peace, Kurt; we will miss you terribly.