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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3064..

MR STEFANIAK: After supposedly caring so much for schools, I am amazed at the derision with which some members of the Opposition are treating Mr Hird's very sensible question about something which obviously will give a lot of joy to a lot of kids, just as the Olympic welcome home parade did. Mr Whitecross obviously does not read the media, because media reports say that 20,000 people turned out to welcome our Olympians. Mr Hird, I am delighted to say that once again ACT schoolchildren will be part of welcome home celebrations, this time for our outstanding ACT contingent of the Australian Paralympic team. There is no doubt that last Monday week's welcome home parade for the Olympic athletes was made even more special because of the turnout of over 4,000 schoolchildren. I am happy to say that the Paralympic officials in the ACT are keen to get another large turnout of schoolchildren when the city welcomes home our ACT Paralympic athletes next Thursday, 12 September.

Counting people at the AIS, Mr Speaker, we had 13 representatives in the Australian Paralympic team, and that is approximately 8 per cent. Between them they brought home 25 per cent of the gold medals. That is a truly outstanding performance. Paralympic officials have raised funds and they are going to get 20 ACTION buses at a reduced cost. With the assistance of the ACT Department of Education and Training, they will provide those buses for children from our schools to go and welcome home these splendid athletes. In contrast to the Olympic parade, when students were on the roadside, the schoolchildren will be part of the celebrations in Glebe Park. There they will be given the opportunity to meet with and congratulate their Paralympic heroes. We will also endeavour to get as many as possible of Canberra's children in special education classes and schools to be part of the celebrations. There is no doubt that our Paralympic heroes are a source of inspiration to students who attend special classes or schools and it is fitting that they play a major part in the official welcome home of our Paralympic athletes.

Mr Speaker, a large number of gold medals were won and I would like to put this on the record. Damien Burroughs won a gold medal in track and field. Gemma Dashwood won three gold medals and two silver medals in swimming. David Evans, in track and field, won two gold medals and one silver medal. John Eden, in track and field, won a bronze medal. Lisa Llorens, in track and field, won a gold and a bronze. Hamish McDonald, in track and field, won a gold. James Normahas, in pistol shooting, won a silver medal. Sharon Rackham, in track and field, won a gold. Judith Young, in swimming, won three silver medals and one bronze medal. What a fantastic effort by these athletes, Mr Speaker!

Mrs Carnell: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Ms Follett: I have a question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: You have asked a question, Ms Follett. The Chief Minister has asked that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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