Parliament’s call to action over ‘depraved act of evil’
HANNAH Clarke and her children have been remembered in a moment's silence in Parliament, before Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke about the depravity of the act which took their lives.
Mr Morrison said he extended his sympathies and love to the Clarke family, but admitted it could never be enough.
"It is incomprehensible. An such depravity that only makes you ask - how does such evil happen in our land?" the Prime Minister said.
"They have shown incredible resilience and character in the worst of all possible circumstances.
"As best we can, we also send the country's love to you.
"In your grief you have every right to be angry - furious - because everything we have done across this country to protect women and children didn't protect Hannah and her children from this evil."
He said the Federal Government, as well as all state governments, needed to reflect on the tragedy because the existing system had failed Ms Clarke and her children.
"One in six Australian women have experienced violence by a current or former partner by the age of 15," Mr Morrison said.
He said the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) would be discussing what more could be done on domestic and family violence when it meets in a few weeks time.
"There are never any excuses - there are none - or justifications for the evil that Hannah and her children experienced - never," he said.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said it was an awful truth that there was an epidemic of domestic and family violence in Australia.
"Yet again a woman has lost her life to a former male partner. Yet again children have been robbed of their futures by a father who betrayed what should have been the most powerful bond of all between a parent and their child," Mr Albanese said.
"It was difficult to comprehend the sheer horror of what had happened. Our sympathies are also with the families and friends of Hannah, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey.
"Violence and abuse against women exists in many forms, physical, emotional and financial. We cannot be mere bystanders. We shouldn't keep relearning the same lesson, that evil happens when good people do nothing."
Mr Albanese said the memory of Ms Clarke and her three children should galvanise the nation to do more to stop violence against women and children.
"Let us hope in years to come, there is a Prime Minister standing on that side of the aisle and an Opposition Leader on this side to give very different speeches about how we've been through a considerable period of time without there being a murder, a fatality and that will truly be, it is truly an objective which each and every one of us working towards," he said.