Page 782 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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Who would have ever guessed that in a country like Australia, in a city which is its capital, there would be significant discussion and concern about potholes on major roads? I obviously welcome the attention of government members, as they are driving or even cycling, to the state of the roads around them. It is not a comforting sight. Canberrans deserve well-maintained, regularly cared for and beautiful infrastructure.

Where is the investment for what Canberrans use every day? Where is the concern for what affects Canberrans every single day? Where is the pure utilitarian approach, politically, from a government that is meant to provide quality urban services? I do, with some reluctance, raise this very negative aspect in what is normally a positive end of a sitting day—our adjournment speeches. I speak in this way on behalf of many, many concerned constituents who keep bringing this to my attention. Shame on Labor and the Greens for being the worst service delivery government the territory has had since self-government.

Canberran of the Year 2022—Mohammed Ali

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.54): Members, today I would like to talk, with considerable appreciation, about our Canberran of the Year, Mohammed Ali, and to thank him for everything he has done for the people of our city. I would like to thank the Chief Minister for awarding him this honour. Having missed the last sitting due to illness, I am conscious that it has been a little while since this was announced, but I do not want to miss the opportunity to make these remarks in this place. I think it is really important to recognise some of these not-unsung heroes but insufficiently-sung heroes in our communities—the people who just get in and do the work, who see a need and jump in to fill it, and who bring people together with a positive goal. Mohammed Ali is a tour de force in this regard.

Coming from a family in which he saw caring for others strongly modelled by his father, Mohammed moved to Canberra from Karachi in Pakistan more than 30 years ago and has backed his love for his adopted home with real action. A couple of years ago, when the Canberra Times interviewed him, he said he thought Canberra had become more loving, peaceful and caring over the past 30 years, and I am quite certain that he has had a hand in making that happen.

In 2004, following the Boxing Day tsunami, he started a curry lunch club in his workplace, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, him and his colleagues cooking and selling curries to co-workers. Over a number of years this raised thousands of dollars for a range of different causes.

After Mohammed retired from the Therapeutic Goods Administration a few years ago, he stepped up his work even further. In 2018 he founded HelpingACT, which helps vulnerable Canberrans with food security and works with other organisations such as Slabs for Heroes, the Early Morning Centre and local street pantries. He has also had important roles on the ACT Multicultural Advisory Board, the ACT Refugee Asylum Seeker and Humanitarian Coordination Committee, and with Companion House.

In between all of this, he finds time to be a husband, father and grandfather and also to be a regular and positive presence on ABC talkback radio. More than once I have

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