On another matter, on Monday, 15 October, I attended a Ballarat City Council civic ceremony to commemorate the 125th anniversary of laying of the foundation stone at the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council. The ceremony was a timely reminder of the many issues unionists have fought for over the years — occupational health and safety laws, the 8-hour day, weekend work provisions, maternity and paternity leave, equal pay and a fair go for all. As Councillor Harris, the mayor of the City of Ballarat, stated at the event, all families in Ballarat have direct or indirect links to the Ballarat Trades and Labor Council.
The council should be congratulated for taking the initiative to hold the civic ceremony in the historic Trench Room — a fitting venue that saw the community come together and work collectively during the war years.
It is somewhat disappointing that coalition government MPs could not see the commemoration as a priority. Their absence was noted.