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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 4 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1239..

getting a lot of benefit from being there. There was a real sense of community spirit. I think it really highlighted the benefit of having a facility like that.

The government's support for the men's sheds I think is very welcome. We have seen them spreading out across the city now. They are in a number of locations. For men of a certain age—perhaps that is the polite way to put it—I guess there is not a culture of sharing or of talking about issues of concern. I think what men's shed do is provide a pretty practical place to allow some of that bonding and sharing to go on in a way that is comfortable for men who perhaps have traditionally not been willing or able to share in that way. So I think they provide that real social cohesion, as Mr Gentleman mentions in his motion, and that opportunity to come together that is incredibly valuable.

The other thing I mention that men's sheds do is that they provide a focal point for skills and community giving. Again, the experience that members have talked about today, and that we have seen in some of the men's sheds, is the community support and community work that gets done. Certainly, my experience the year before last year when I went to visit the Melba Men's Shed was one of real energy and a real dynamism around having that group coming together and working together.

I will keep my remarks brief today. I simply wanted to take the opportunity provided by Mr Gentleman having put this on the table to offer my support to the motion, to support the continuing government support for men's sheds and to investigate the kinds of things Mr Gentleman has talked about in his motion—the provision of training opportunities and how to make ACT government information services available.

Often the group of people who are accessing these facilities are perhaps not the best ones to be looking for information, but if this is a forum in which the government can perhaps provide it more readily than has been the case, then that is another benefit. As I say, I will keep my remarks short today. I simply thank Mr Gentleman for bringing this motion forward and offer my support to it.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.55), in reply: I would like to thank everybody for their fantastic contribution to this motion this evening. It is wonderful to see so much support for the men's shed movement across the territory. In closing, I want to make a final plug for Tuggeranong Men's Shed. I have just had a look at their website. The smiling face of Frank Vrins there on the top. It says that the Tuggeranong Men's Shed:

... is a relaxed and creative space for all men to enjoy. Make new friends and spend time with other men over a cuppa and a chat. Learn and share skills in light woodwork, maintenance, computers and photography. Join us for trips to other sheds.

The new shed is open Tuesdays from 9 am until 1 pm at unit 1, 299 Soward Way down in Greenway. They are open Wednesdays from 9 am until 1 pm and Fridays from 9 am until 1 pm as well. It is fantastic group of people down there at the Tuggeranong Men's Shed. Of course, that is auspiced by the Communities@Work group.

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