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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (3 March) . . Page.. 704..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

The president went on to talk about their furniture business:

But probably the best example I can offer you for my assertion that the need to support refugees in Canberra continues today, even though the number of new entrants is small, is to look at the hub of activity around our furniture and household effects centre.

Some of you may not know that we have a space in the basement of the Tuggeranong Community Centre from which we distribute furniture and household items. We also use some private storage areas and dream-

Treasurer, they dream-

of a purpose built facility!

Nevertheless, there is hardly a day that goes by without some activity related to our furniture operation. We don't advertise, we simply respond to demand. And that demand has remained constant.

I should also say that we don't buy any of these items. They are all donated-and that tells you a lot about the people of Canberra.

This is also an excellent opportunity for me to point out that that part of our operation is run by Cecelia Jackson & her husband Greg, with an enormous amount of support from Pam Kearns and a dedicated group of other members including the Satrapas, the Hagans, and many others. I can only say Thank You for your dedication and innumerable hours of work to make that happen. The people of Canberra should know that you do such a job.

I will finish the speech there, Mr Speaker. You were there and you heard it. I give my regards to Geoff McPherson, president; Doug Hinde, vice-president; David Crann, secretary; and Claire Hegney, treasurer, of the Canberra Refugee Support group.

Citizenship ceremonies

MR PRATT (6.28): I rise to raise an issue based around the bill of rights debate and the concerns that I have raised a number of times here about the Chief Minister's politicisation of Multicultural Day, Australia Day and other events, which I believe is of deep concern to those who are aware of what has been spoken about.

The community would hope that our Chief Minister would govern for all. That is part of his charter. The Chief Minister needs to demonstrate leadership and he needs to encourage harmony. He is our Chief Minister and this is what we as a community want to see in our Chief Minister. Against this background, I was curious about one aspect of the last four or five months especially of a program of quite controversial and divisive speeches, particularly in relation to David Hicks. I was concerned about that so I checked around and what I found, of course, was that David Hicks is used as a convenient vehicle for federal bashing. If that was going to be the case, I was also keen to see whether the Chief Minister had done his homework.


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