Anthony Albanese says Alan Dare was driven by that “great Australian instinct to help”, and he paid for his kindness and concern with his life.
The Prime Minister led the condolence motions in a special parliamentary sitting on Thursday, paying tribute also to the “bravery and sacrifice” of constables Rachel McCrow and Matthew Arnold, who alongside Mr Dare were killed by Nathaniel, Gareth and Stacey Train in Wieambilla on Monday.
“We grieve for Alan Dare and we grieve for Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow, who have paid a price that no one who puts on the uniform should ever have to pay,” Mr Albanese said.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, a former police officer, was visibly moved to tears as he too paid tribute to the “bravery” of the two constables who had been murdered.
Mr Dutton said the country had lost “three wonderful Australians”.
“Three people who embodied compassion, commitment, and courage during their lives and in their final moments,” Mr Dutton said.
“Simply those qualities that we will remember in which we will reveal, those qualities which will continue to inspire confidence in us to confront evil wherever it lurks.”
Both Mr Albanese and Mr Dutton also paid tribute to the “incredible bravery” of constables Randall Kirk and Keely Brough, who survived the massacre.
“Their quick thinking and bravery has helped to save their own lives as well as others in calling for back up,” Mr Dutton said.
The four constables visited the Trains’ Wieambilla property – between Tara and Chinchilla on Queensland’s Western Downs – to carry out a welfare check on Monday.
They were met with what Mr Albanese described as “a fortress of armoury”.
The Trains opened fire on the group before taking the lives of constables McCrow and Arnold in an execution-style murder.
Constable Brough hid herself in the bushes, where she sent messages to her family anticipating she too would be killed. She called for backup as Constable Kirk lay injured and the trio lit a fire in an attempt to smoke her out.
Hearing gunshots and seeing smoke, Mr Dare had gone to investigate and help his neighbours.
Instead, he “walked into the line of fire, and paid the ultimate price”, local MP and Chinchilla resident David Littleproud told parliament.
Chinchilla had since sold out of flowers, as it and the community of Tara wraps their arms around each other in this time of grief, he said.
As he held back tears, Mr Dutton said this was an attack that would never really be understood.
“The depravity of this incident is what has struck hardest,” he said.
“The execution-style and the complete disregard for the human beings that those officers were.
“The premeditated nature of the attack, the callous lack of heeding of please that would have … echoed in between those gunshots.”
It has since emerged Gareth Train was a far-right sympathiser active on anti-police and anti-vax forums.
His wife, Stacey, had previously been married to his brother Nathaniel – a former esteemed school principal.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said while law enforcement was still trying to piece things together, it was likely that radicalisation had played a part.
“Conspiracy theories, disinformation, and misinformation … are being turbocharged by technology into terrible acts of violence,” she said.