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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 392..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Australians and Indians served together in the Boer War, World War I, World War II and Korea. They suffered as much as we suffered in places like Malaysia, the Western Front and Gallipoli. There is a bond there that goes deep. Then we can add to that the layer of sport. When I was in Calcutta, people wanted to talk about Steve Waugh and the work he is doing in Calcutta.

While I am not saying we should be mercenary, the bond with Australian sportsmen does open doors. There is a great deal of respect for Australians in India. You only had to let it be known in most bars that you were from Australia and they asked if you had an attachment to the cricket team. It is a great way to see India. They are great people. They are hospitable people, and there are an awful lot of them.

What they are doing in the world is astounding. Often overlooked is India's contribution to the world in terms of maths, medicine, astronomy, science, engineering, literature and the arts, as well as the significant history of India with its many different faiths and religions. India is the home not just of Hinduism; it is also the birthplace of Buddhism. With that background, it is very sympathetic to the sort of life that we have in the ACT and the things that we aspire to. I think there is a great deal of advantage to be gained from the Anglo-Indian society of the ACT, as well as the other contacts that exist here.

Well done to the Chief Minister for finally taking a delegation to India. It follows in Mr Moore's footsteps. Mr Stefaniak, when he was education minister, sent an officer from his department, Mr Peter Gordon, who later headed Business ACT, to India looking for opportunities. This is all work that was done in 2000 and 2001. I hope we can pick up the trail. I hope we can capitalise on it. I hope we have not left it too late. But, that being said, exactly what the Chief Minister outlined I believe is true and accurate. There is work to be done. Let us make sure that we work very, very well with the ACT business community to capitalise on these things.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Women—gender equity

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt and Mr Seselja proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Gentleman be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of gender equity for women of the ACT.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (3.52): Today is International Women's Day, an important event in the international calendar since 1977. This day provides an opportunity to celebrate women's achievements and their contribution to society. Today, women can celebrate the progress that has been made, but also contemplate those areas of women's lives where more can be done to achieve gender equality.

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