17 October 2018
Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:55): Today Australia has lost one its great champions. Ian Kiernan has passed away after a battle with cancer, and Australia is poorer. A keen sailor, Ian noticed over many ocean journeys in the late eighties that the seas were filling with rubbish. While others turned the other way, Ian dedicated himself to making a difference. In 1989 he took action and launched his first clean-up campaign, Clean Up Sydney Harbour, which turned into Clean Up Australia Day the next year. Almost 300,000 volunteers turned out for the first Clean Up Australia Day in 1990 and over the last 28 years Australians have devoted more than 33 million hours towards the environment, through Clean Up Australia Day, removing the equivalent of more than 350,000 ute loads of rubbish. I had the pleasure of knowing Ian for many years through his activism.
Clean Up Australia Day is celebrated widely across Bennelong. Sadly, Ian was too unwell to attend this year but we were delighted to have his daughter Pip there with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ian’s family on this sad day. However, they can be reassured that Ian’s legacy will remain. Ian, through championing this cause, showed that you don’t have to be a horse born in New Zealand, or swing a cricket bat like the Don or swim like Dawn to be a truly great Australian champion.