BRISBANE — A moving funeral service was held in Warwick on August 19 for Peter Harkins, a well-known activist in the campaign to stop the closure of the Biala alcohol and drug detoxification centre. Peter was also a Biala State Public Service Federation delegate; he died of complications after contracting influenza.
Many of Peter's friends spoke of his work in the campaign with warmth and affection, in particular, his courage and organisational ability were praised.
Frank Malone, coordinator of the Biala Support Group, told Green Left Weekly "Peter's invaluable contribution to the Biala campaign will be sorely missed. As a delegate, Peter was under severe pressure and stress throughout the campaign and succumbed quickly to a viral infection.
"The counselling staff at Biala have particularly suffered as a result of the callous cut-back to the Biala Clinic on January 14. As far as the support group is concerned, Peter Harkins gave all to the campaign, including his life.
"Peter's courage in his final days was inspirational. He never sought publicity, never bucked responsibility nor sought recognition. Peter fought for social justice, particularly for the sick and the alcohol and drug dependent, whom he counselled."
Peter is survived by his companion Jenny.
... John Nebauer