Lismore MP fears for family's safety
By RENEE REDMOND firstname.lastname@example.org
THE family of Lismore MP Thomas George is believed to be under- taking a dangerous car ride in a bid to escape the conflict in Lebanon. Yesterday Mr George was waiting anxiously for a phone call from his relatives who fled Lebanon by car on Thursday morning. His Australian-based cousin Michael Gittany and wife Diane, along with their daughter THOMAS GEORGE with members of his family. MP fears for his family's safety Leanne and her two children, have been trapped at Ehden in northern Lebanon since fighting broke out in the country two weeks ago. The Lismore MP and other members of his family, including his father Nadim and sis- ters and brothers, had only left Lebanon shortly before fighting broke out. Mr George said he had spoken to his cousin on Thursday. "They were about to leave by car and planned to drive through Syria and Cy- prus on route to Romania," he said. "I'm a bit worried about the car trip. I have not been able to reach them again be- cause there is no mo- bile coverage. "They're heading for Leanne's home in Romania." Mr George said Mi- chael and Diane Git- tany lived in Sydney and planned to fly home to Australia once they had got their daughter and her chil- dren home safely. He said although the attempts of the Austra- lian Government to get
people out of Lebanon had been criticised, he could understand the difficulties involved. "The Government has to rent a ship which will go into a war zone and you can't get them just anywhere. Not many people want to insure boats to go into a war zone," he said. Mr George also had concerns about people who did not have an Australian passport jumping on the boat to get out of Lebanon. "A lot of people are putting their hand up to get out. "You have to make sure those getting out of the country have a passport.