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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (6 August) . .

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It would be preferable to be able to describe the federal Liberal attacks on Australians' access to Medicare as out of touch, but I just do not think they are. I think they are pursuing a systemic system of destruction to a scheme they have never supported, and they do not care about the people who get in the way.

But I am optimistic that they will never succeed. For the 40 years that Labor has stood for the Medicare scheme, the Liberal Party has sought to tear it down. But today we are celebrating another year, because Australians know the value of this scheme. People like Margaret, George and all of the other people that attended the rally today know the value of a universal medical system. I will keep turning up and standing with them against the Liberal Party's senseless attack on what is a very basic human right.

Canberra Ornithologists Group

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.53): This afternoon I would like to talk about the Canberra Ornithologists Group and the recent photographic exhibition they held in the Assembly as part of their 50th birthday celebrations. Canberra Ornithologists Group, or COG, formed in 1964 and was originally a branch of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union until 1970. It has been an active group in Canberra for the past 50 years and in that time has gathered a great base of information on our bird life here in the territory.

COG has also been instrumental in ensuring that local bird species can co-exist in a growing city; it provides bird data for conservation-related purposes; it responds to draft government strategies, policies and plans; it makes submissions on development matters; and it works through the Conservation Council to lobby for better environmental outcomes. From the outset there was much activity in the club, ranging from monthly newsletters to surveys and excursions. During this time many books, brochures and other information guides have been published by COG or members of COG.

Today I wish to acknowledge first the work of the committee. I know that the governance and activities of groups like COG take a lot of dedication from the committee. These members are: President, Alison Russell-French; Vice-President, Neil Herme; Secretary, Sandra Henderson; and Treasurer, Noel Luff. The general committee members are Jenny Bounds, Sue Lashko, Lia Battisson, Bruce Lindenmayer, Stuart Rae and Chris Davey.

It is always good to see active groups within our community and it really is an amazing feat to have a volunteer organisation such as this that has run successfully for so long. It is a real tribute to all those involved. Both past and present committee members should be congratulated as well as general members of the organisation.

Finally I want to bring attention to the outstanding photographic exhibition that COG held in the Assembly at the end of June. There were 48 photos, all submitted by members of COG. I would like to acknowledge the photographers that submitted to this exhibition. The photos were incredible and I know that I had a difficult time voting for my favourite.

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