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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 2894..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

including about four members of my fifth grade side. Lo and behold, we beat them seven tries to three.

It was great to see stalwarts such as Wallaby Brad Girvan, who worked as a staffer in this place in the First Assembly, and some of the other olds and bolds, not all of whom turned out on the paddock. I think Michael Axelsen's father, who was in the 1947 Norths side, kicked off; so that is how far back it went. But it was good to see such strength and camaraderie in what was one of Canberra's oldest sporting clubs, which still lives on as part of Uni-Norths. Congratulations, Norths, on your 70th anniversary. I certainly do not intend to be around playing when you have your 80th.

World Youth Day

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.23): I want to take a few moments in tonight's adjournment debate to talk about World Youth Day and to place on record my congratulations to the organisers of that event and particularly those behind the Days in the Diocese events that were held in Canberra.

It would have been impossible for Canberra residents to miss the throngs of World Youth Day pilgrims that were around our city in the week preceding the main event in Sydney. The visitors came from all over the world and were enthusiastic and loud and there was a wonderful presence in Canberra. It is interesting that, even as recently as this week, I saw visitors from different countries, who were clearly here as part of that occasion, walking through the Assembly car park. Quite clearly, many from different nationalities have stayed on to see a little bit of this nation's capital and probably other parts of Australia.

Mr Barr: The AHA were not so happy, though; they were not staying in hotels, apparently.

MR MULCAHY: I know that local businesses, albeit maybe not the four and five-star hotels, would have experienced the benefit of having many international visitors in Australia, especially the souvenir shops, and it causes me no concern that, as Mr Barr points out, the hotels did not do particularly well out of it. At the end of the day, a lot of these people were in their teens, a lot of them were scraping money together and had been sponsored by local communities. It did not surprise me at all that most of the beneficiaries of their expenditure would have been the places where teens would go. Youth hostels and the like, I think, did very well out of that.

The same situation was reflected in Sydney, where probably the premium hotels were not the beneficiaries but many smaller locations were. Of course large numbers of families in Canberra billeted visitors from overseas and this was arranged through the various parishes.

There were masses held in different national languages. I attended masses held in Italian. I know Mrs Dunne and her family were at the Italian Cultural Centre. There was a mass held in French and one held in Spanish. I have to say, having been at St Christopher's to see those two other masses conducted, that the atmosphere created by more than 700 people packed into the cathedral was nothing short of electric. It was extraordinary and I took some pride in hearing the oratory of His Grace Archbishop Mark Coleridge at each of those masses.


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