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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . . Page.. 2679 ..


parliament made up of people who, for the most part, do not represent us or our interests.

I want to put on the record that I formally implore all federal politicians to listen to the citizens of the ACT and the Northern Territory when they make their decision on how to vote on the Leyonhjelm bill. How would they feel if people who did not represent them were making decisions that affected them? I thank Dave Smith, Andrew Leigh and Gai Brodtmann, who I know will be voting in support of restoring our rights, and of course Katy Gallagher for her leadership in the Senate on this previously.

I ask the citizens of Canberra to reach out to your friends and your family who live interstate. Ask your friends and family who live interstate to write to their federal representatives. We can get this overturned only with the help of all Australians. It is a matter of fairness. It is a matter of rights. And it simply comes down to doing what is right.

Canberra Institute of Technology—heart health program

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.13): Over the past few months, I have been trying to get to the bottom of changes that have been made to the CIT heart health program. This program is much appreciated and highly valued by its participants, mainly seniors. They enjoy their involvement through healthy physical exercise and social interaction.

In February, some participants visited Mr Coe to tell him that the CIT had made some changes, primarily to reduce class sizes. Their concern was that this would impact on the important element of social interaction of the group. This came on the back of a string of correspondence in late 2017 between participants and the Minister for Veterans and Seniors and the Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

Whilst acknowledging the reason for the change—mainly, as I understand it, associated with OH&S considerations—the program participants called the changes "abrupt" and were concerned about lack of consultation. In a letter to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, program participants said: "These abrupt changes created the situation of fracturing important support and connections for programme participants of long standing." The participants went on to say: "Though not intentional, these changes have had the effect of disrupting what was a model of best practice for an inclusiveness fitness group that also relied strongly on the robust social ties and supports that developed among the members over many years."

Since February, I have had correspondence with the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, who keeps telling me stories that the program participants have been unable to corroborate. Primarily, these differences of view have been about a lack of consultation and the manner in which a survey of participants was conducted.

Even an issue as seemingly trivial as name tags has emerged. The government has said that it is too expensive to be issuing name tags for each class. Surely a plastic sleeve with a card inserted, issued at a pick-up and drop-off point, would not be beyond the fiscal constraints of this government.


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