Page 1629 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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This has been some years in the making, as I understand it, from several members of the Rotary Club of Canberra Weston Creek initially. It is great to see them partner with Rotary Belconnen for a series of 90 minutes—and it is very firmly a 90-minute only breakfast—that will be held on the last Wednesday of the month for the next six months.

Rotary has established this having identified that there is a need particularly for small business owners to be able to get together, to spend some time networking, meeting different people and sharing interesting stories, but also hearing from different people as well. This first event, hosted at Raiders Kippax, where it will continue to be hosted over the series of breakfasts over the next six months, had me as one of the speakers, with a short introductory speech and drawing on some of the work that the ACT government has done and is doing to support our small business community in the ACT.

Also, it was lovely and really very inspiring to hear from Cam Sullings, who was the keynote speaker and gave a very interesting and detailed speech about his career, including his transition to being a small business owner and what that had meant and the challenges and the goals that he had set himself and the steps that he had taken to reach those goals.

I really commend the clubs for their initiative and particularly single out President Wayne Goodman from Rotary Belconnen and President of the Rotary Club of Canberra Weston Creek Ash Pagent for their collaboration on this. And of course it was fantastic to have the presence of the district governor, Leo Farrelly OAM, there as well.

I think what really stood out to me was a few things but also the sheer number of people that were there—more than 80 people in attendance very early on quite a cold morning—and the number of people who stayed on after the allotted 90 minutes was up. People stayed and kept connecting and chatting, so it was really more than two hours later that it concluded.

Again, my sincerest and warmest congratulations to all those who have driven this. We do have incredibly strong business networks here in the ACT and they are a key ingredient, I think, to small business success. Those opportunities to connect and to share stories and challenges are vital. That this is providing that safe space to do that is so commendable, and I wish them so very well for the next five breakfasts. Thanks very much.

Kurrajong electorate—footpaths

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (5.00): You only need to look around our suburbs to know that this Labor-Greens government is letting Canberrans down on basic municipal services, particularly in our older suburbs. As local member, by far the majority of the issues that are raised with me by constituents are about footpaths, mowing and potholes. Whilst many of the issues are about the lack of maintenance and the inadequate bandaid fixes for the problems that arise, there are some areas in my electorate where the most basic of services were never built at all.

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