It was unexpected, but after five years as Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott finally relinquished on our cold war of mutual dislike with one simple sentence.
In a Channel 9 interview on Friday March 30, Abbot said: “Every year lifesavers prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of drownings and I think they do a terrific job, but anyone who does surf lifesaving knows there are some risks attached.”
Abbott was of course referring to the tragic death of a 14 year old surfer Matt Barclay who died while competing in the under 15s Australian Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast on March 28.
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When tragedy strikes, some people try to do something to make the situation better. Others choose to point the finger of blame. Neither path is necessarily better than the other, but an effective solution requires both.
We need to use this frame when we consider the tragic case of Matthew Barclay, the 14 year old surf lifesaver who has been found dead this morning, following his involvement in the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships at the Gold Coast yesterday.
Sydney QC Christopher Branson has already pointed the finger of blame at Surf Life Saving Australia. Even before Barclay’s body was found, Branson had called for a royal commission into the conduct of the organisation.
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