Page 200 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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wafts across surrounding areas. Vermin are attracted to its contents and, consequently, also predators such as snakes.

The petition calls for the pit to be properly enclosed to contain rubbish and odour; but this is only an immediate and temporary solution. Ultimately, the petitioners want the pit removed, placed away from residential areas and closer to an existing landfill site. Once in landfill, the sludge or waste can be managed effectively without having an impact on nearby neighbours.

I would like to thank the ACT government, who have responded in recent days by emptying the pit and mowing around its edges. Now we need the ACT government to commit to permanent action and find a new site away from people’s homes.

I would like to applaud the principal petitioner, Ms Natasa Sojic, who has been an outspoken, passionate and effective advocate for her local community on this issue—ideal qualities that show why she is running as a Greens candidate for Fenner. I am sure that, should she be successful, she will bring those qualities in spades to the Australian Parliament House.

Ms Sojic was assisted by another tireless community advocate, Mr Selwyn Jones from Moncrieff. He originally brought this issue to our attention and has worked tirelessly to document the community’s desire to solve the problem of the Moncrieff sludge pit. Mr Jones is also well known for spending his own time cleaning around his suburb of Moncrieff and removing weeds. He has done a lot to improve the amenity of Moncrieff, and I applaud him for it. I commend this petition to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Australia Day—honours

Ministerial statement

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.07): Canberrans are what make our city such a special place to live. We are generous, dedicated and innovative. We care about our community and want the best for it.

Many of us are lucky to know someone at work or in our community who goes above and beyond—the sort of person who is tireless, and sometimes single-minded, in making our community a better place; the sort of person who does it because they love it, they are passionate, and it is who they are. Often they are doing it with little fanfare or thanks, but they deserve both.

The Australian honours and awards system announced on Australia Day and the Queen’s Birthday is one way that those very special people are recognised. I was pleased, but not at all surprised, to see Canberrans well represented in this year’s Australia Day honours list. ACT residents received 48 of the 1,040 Australia Day honours announced. We are punching well above our weight in terms of our population size.

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