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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (8 June) . .

Page.. 1880..


The evening featured a number of excellent performances by the Fijian community, the Tongan High Commission, Bollywood Dance, the United Nesian Movement—Pacific cultural group—of Pacific Island Tradies, and by the ACT Tibetan community. The performances demonstrated that the Fijians are vibrant and optimistic people with many friends, both near and far.

Despite the extraordinary devastation and loss of life, the resolve to rebuild and re-establish communities is truly special and inspiring. Whilst I know the Australian government committed over $30 million to help rebuild, there is so much more that needs to be done.

Today I would like to commend MARSS for the work that they do. Of course, there is the regular or everyday work that they do, which often goes unnoticed. There are also the extra things that MARSS does which go above and beyond, like their support for events to help communities in need. If the work of MARSS and Dewani Bakkum were to be delivered by government, it would cost considerably more than it does. They operate on a shoestring budget and they do a magnificent job.

I would like to commend the supporters of the event, including the Fiji High Commission, the Tongan High Commission, the Belgian High Commission, the Hellenic Club Woden, the Pacific Island Showcase, Legal on London, Dan Murphy's, Soychic Candles, Fantastic Furniture, Island Breeze, The Good Guys, Pacific Island Tradies, Fofoanga—the Tongan kava group—the ACT Tibetan community, Ruchi South Indian Cuisine, Nic Manikis, Pamela Bennington, Christine Shaw, Toa Takiari, Isaacs and Friends from the New Zealand community, and, of course, Dewani Bakkum and her team at MARSS.

I know that the Fijian people are happy and faithful people and that Fiji will surely rebuild. The funds from last month's event and other fundraising activities will surely help enormously.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.51pm.


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