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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 583..

DR FOSKEY (continuing):

Let's consider Peter Latona, the sculptor who was selected to do this work. It is ready to go. He is just being caught in this political melee. Sculptors need work. Let's face it: if some of that $72,000 keeps an artist in work for a while, I think that, in itself, is a good thing. Bring it on, I say. Let's have more public art. Let's have more discussions about public art. If this is the only way that we can discuss public art, let's have this kind of argument. I am very sorry that we have not heard anybody just talk about how we need to lighten up, how we need to brighten our environment, how we need to accept that not everyone will ever love any politician, no matter what good deeds they did. Let's put it up, let's move on and let's get the next one lined up, too.


MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.03): Mr Speaker, today I would like to talk about an element of the Communities@Work program currently operational across the ACT. The Friday before last I was fortunate enough to attend the Communities@Work Greenway early childhood centre trivia night at the Southern Cross Club in Tuggeranong. The event was organised to raise money to provide equipment and resources for children at the centre. At present, there are up to 60 children, aged from birth to five years, enrolled at the Greenway centre. The night, hailed as a success by the area manager for both Tuggeranong and the Greenway centre, Sharon Mathers, raised approximately $3,500 for the cause.

These trivia nights have had a long history with the Greenway early childhood centre and, with the success of the most recent event, have shown strong support from all parts of the community for the development and sustainability of the Communities@Work program. Prizes for the evening were donated by various businesses and organisations. They included a hot lap ride in the new Toyota rally car with Neal Bates, who is recognised as a great supporter of the local community and those initiatives. They also included Questacon family passes, carpet cleaning by Morgan's, Bodyworks fitness memberships and vouchers for local restaurants, to name just a few. It is encouraging to see such a diverse range of local Canberra businesses getting behind such an important community service.

The Greenway centre itself falls under the Communities@Work umbrella and it has nine other early childhood centres across the ACT. This centre was opened in 1995 by Annette Ellis and Molly Rhodin, a former manager of the centre. Communities@Work is a not-for-profit organisation that assists families across the ACT in caring for young children and their families. Other services that are of importance are family day care, family support, youth services and community development.

It is supported, as the title suggests, by the local community and its vast array of volunteers, of which approximately 150 are registered. The local community and the families that are involved with the organisation of these events are to be congratulated on their achievements in raising both awareness and the much-needed money for such a worthy cause. The government plays its part in the success, making available accommodation for these centres through territory and municipal services. It is also important to mention the minor works project grants that are given to maintain and upkeep these facilities.

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