Page 2173 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 3 August 2021

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provide a welcome and introduction to each meeting. They have also provided an opportunity where students ran their own meeting. What a great way to involve, inspire and empower future community leaders. In attending each of the group’s meetings this year, I have been impressed by the wide range of issues discussed, the diversity of guest presenters, and the energy and passion of residents wanting to help shape the future of the area.

I understand that the election for positions on the Molonglo Valley Community Council will be held in October. I encourage local residents to nominate and to attend the meetings, to have their say and to get involved.

I also want to stress the importance of Molonglo Valley residents’ engagement in the census. The next census is due on 10 August. Currently, residents are receiving letters to inform them that they can fill out the census now in respect of their living situation on the night of 10 August.

The census gives government, businesses and not-for-profits data to help make important decisions. This information is important to identify the needs of a growing community and to anticipate and plan for future trends. Given that the last census was conducted five years ago, it is critically important that Molonglo residents’ data is recorded so that their current situation can be reflected in government policy.

I acknowledge the support of the Weston Creek Community Council in supporting Molonglo over the years to get to a point where, now, it has its own council.

I again congratulate everyone involved in this outcome. I look forward to working with the Molonglo Valley Community Council now and into the future.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (11.46): I welcome the opportunity to talk about Canberra’s newest community council, in Canberra’s newest region. I recall speaking on Dr Paterson’s motion in February, her first in the Assembly, which called on the government to establish a community council for the Molonglo Valley. I am really pleased that this has come to fruition, both for the Molonglo community and as an example of what a good local member like Dr Paterson can achieve in this place.

The Molonglo Valley is not just our city’s newest region; it is also the fastest growing one. When I first spoke on this topic in February, the population was around 9,500 residents. We can expect that it is now probably over 10,000. It will grow much larger in the coming decades. Every day, more people are choosing to make their home in the Molonglo Valley.

It is great to represent a community that has its whole future ahead of it. When I talk to people in the Molonglo Valley when I am out in the community, I hear much optimism about their new community and many great ideas and aspirations about how they would like to make the region’s facilities, services and infrastructure the best that they can be.

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