Dec 11, 2013

Constituency statement – Mr Peter Bulger

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (09:30): I rise today in the House to acknowledge the passing of a constituent, friend and comrade, Peter Bulger. I came to know Pete through his deep commitment to the Labor cause, his passion for activism and ongoing contribution to the community in which he lived. Like a lot of people who get involved in political activism, Pete cared about his local community and about the nation. He imagined a better Australian society and he invested his time and his energy into making his vision real. Politics was his interest, but people were his passion—the people he met and the people he wanted to help by pursuing his vision for a better and fairer society, one in which opportunity was extended to all and progress would be achieved with equity. Pete lived by two personal mottos: ‘Never give in, never surrender’ and ‘Life is short, so enjoy it while you can.’ Those maxims summed him up perfectly; he was passionate about his beliefs, but also passionate about life and his family and friends.

Pete was born in Queensland in 1965, the son of Alan and Nola Bulger. He earned a Bachelor of Business Studies in 1985 and become a certified practicing accountant 10 years later. In 2003 he was awarded an MBA at Deakin University. Pete moved to Sydney in 1988 and settled in St Peters, in my electorate. Over the years, he worked for a range of companies, including Caltex and the Sydney Futures Exchange, as well as the New South Wales Department of Education. After arriving in Sydney, he also became involved in the Labor Party. Pete was Secretary of the St Peters-Tempe Branch for many years and strongly believed in standing up for his neighbours and surrounding community.

Pete was also a family man, the husband of Min for 17 years and the proud father of Lilly, Ruby and Ivy. In November, 2011, Pete was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. Despite this devastating news, Pete would not be bowed and staged a 14-month battle against his condition. After treatment, when friends asked him how he was, he would say: ‘All right for someone with half a brain’.

Despite his suffering, Pete continued to fight for the things he believed in, notably for the Labor cause in Grayndler. His death came too soon—during the 2013 election campaign. His tenacity, at such a challenging time, was truly admirable. Having had the privilege of knowing Pete for many years, I can say he was a true believer, a fighter and a Labor man lost too soon.

We need to increase the research into GBM as there has been little change in diagnostic methods in the recent decade. I want to publicly express my sympathies to those closest to Peter and put on record my thanks for the support he has given me and the Labor movement in Grayndler over the years. Peter will be sorely missed.

I wish Min, Lilly, Ruby and Ivy, his three school-age children, all the best for their future.