Some years prior to this gathering, in fact I’m reliably informed by the department and have received advice to the effect that it was approximately 87 years ago, certain events occurred in and around if not precisely where we are currently situated.

It is not for me to pass specific comment in regard to the entirety of events as they are alleged to have occurred, though others may deem that appropriate if and when they avail themselves of the opportunity… but having said that let me say this, the government doesn’t take a position in these matters either contrary to or in accordance with the prevailing dictates of the day.

I will seek advice as to the appropriate wording of any comment from the relevant departments. I’m aware, as are the departmental officers, that there are indeed a considerable number of deceased persons in relation to the site in question however speculation as to the manner in which their remembrance will be articulated by the myself and the government is, I think, in light of current circumstances, premature.

I will be making consultations in the coming weeks as to the relevance and contribution of those deceased people, if indeed they are truly deceased, but in regard to that contribution as it pertains to the current and future stability and prosperity of the nation I will seek further advice and make a statement as soon as that advice is received. I do however accept that it is a site of great emotional significance for many people and I say in relation to those emotions the government is not necessarily in disagreement.

Thank you.

Write a speech for Australia 2007 — something like the Gettysburg address, that defines the Australian moment and projects our nation into a new unified destiny — in 272 words. If 272 words was good enough for Abraham Lincoln … Send your small gem of timeless rhetoric to [email protected]. The eventual winner (we don’t want to set a deadline just yet) will be performed by former NSW premier and orator supreme Bob Carr on Radio National’s Late Night Live.