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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (12 August) . .

Page.. 2310..

The men's sheds may be seen as a modern version of the backyard shed. In the men's shed you might find men restoring furniture, restoring bicycles for a local school or making a children's cubby house for Camp Quality to raffle. You may also see men talking over tea or coffee, learning to cook or learning new technologies.

Men's sheds provide social, community and health benefits and offer older men in the Canberra community a place where they can have fun, find or re-discover past hobbies, find camaraderie, and also social support and an opportunity for participation.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what other benefits do men's sheds provide their members?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Bourke for his question and his keen interest in men's sheds. Men's sheds offer many opportunities to assist older men overcome social isolation, including friendship and company, and also the opportunity to participate in social activities with men of similar age and similar interests. They learn to share skills and experiences and to give back to their community.

The connection between keeping physically and mentally active by engaging in interesting activities is beneficial to men who have experienced social disadvantage of course. Sometimes we see identity issues, mental illness, people who have been through incarceration perhaps and/or trauma and are at a loss to promote better mental health and help to reduce mental decline as people age.

Initiatives such as men's sheds were targeted at providing help to older men to provide an environment for community building and to support improvements in a person's emotional wellbeing by promoting socialisation through a meaningful activity. And I look forward to the prospect of seeing more men's sheds develop in the ACT over the coming years.

Uriarra Village—proposed solar farm

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, as you are aware, the consultation period has closed for development application 201425695, which is the proposal for the large-scale solar project opposite Uriarra Village. Minister, did the Chief Minister advise you against using call-in powers in relation to the development at Uriarra?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Wall for his question. Of course, the Uriarra Village has been a topical planning exercise for a couple of years. The development application includes the construction of a solar farm on block 76 at Coree, with solar panels and related buildings, a lease variation and the construction of power lines from the site, adjacent to the Cotter pumping station. The overhead power grid connection includes 25 poles, from eight to 37 metres high.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker.

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